Google’s horrible new policy on using real names in Google+ effectively means that the service is now a danger to real people. You have to ask yourself why a company that pledged to not be evil would do this.
Google has said that if you don’t “use your full first and last name in a single language” you’re in violation of it’s terms of service. If it flags you, you’ll have four days to change it or it’ll boot your ass. You can’t use initials (even that’s what you go by). You can’t use a pseudonym (even if that’s what you go by). And you can’t use numbers or symbols (even if they are part of your name).
Æ, e.e. cummings, Malcolm X, and T.S. Eliot would all be in violation of Google’s policy. So, too (by my reading) would be Mark Twain, George Eliot and doubly so, R.U. Sirius. I’m pretty sure nobody whose name you actually know in the band U2 can use Google+ or, by extension, Gmail.
It’s hard to understand why Google would embark on such a wrong-headed policy. The most likely answer is that this is a pure identity play. Forget social networking, the big goldmine of the future is online identity verification. This could be Google prioritizing getting ahead in that race over its users’ preferences and safety.
In other words, it’s Google putting money and greed over humanity. It’s Google being evil…