Another reason Google+ has attracted criticism since its launch is the service’s hardline policy on names: specifically on users trying to sign up with nicknames or pseudonyms. Now Google has relaxed some of its rules. “Over the next week, we’ll be adding support for alternate names – be they nicknames, maiden names, or names in another script – alongside your common name,” blogs Google’s Bradley Horowitz. “So if you’re Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jane Doe (Smith), or सौरभ शर्मा (Saurabh Sharma), you can now communicate your identity the way you want to.” However, the company is also promising to “broaden support for established pseudonyms, from +trench coat to +Madonna”. That means artists (or indeed anyone) who can provide proof that they are recognised for their pseudonym – examples include offline print media and news articles, official documentation or “Proof of an established identity online with a meaningful following” – can have it on their Google+ profile.

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