If foursquare’s intention was to make their user name display policy less confusing, they may not have succeeded just yet. A conversation on Twitter last night with Jules Polonetsky and Greg Norcie made me aware that foursquare may have yet more clarifying to do.
In its e-mail to users, Foursquare writes (emphasis added by me)
We will now display your full name. Currently, Foursquare sometimes shows your full name and sometimes shows your first name and last initial (“John Smith” vs. “John S.”). For instance, if you search for a friend in Foursquare, we show their full name in the results, but when you click through to their profile page you don’t see their last name. In the original versions of Foursquare, these distinctions made sense. But we get emails every day saying that it’s now confusing. So, with this change, full names are going to be public. As always, you can alter your ‘full name’ on Foursquare at https://foursquare.com/settings.
That would suggest that pseudonyms are permitted. But in its Terms of Service, which has not been updated since August 25, 2011, they write:
Registration and Eligibility.
You shall not:
- provide any false personal information to foursquare (including a false User Name) or create any account for anyone other than yourself without such person’s permission;
- use a User Name that is the name of another person with the intent to impersonate that person;
- use a User Name or foursquare account that is subject to any rights of a person other than you without appropriate authorization; or
- use a User Name that is a name that is otherwise offensive, vulgar or obscene or otherwise unlawful.
Well, if you have to use “truthful” details and you shall not provide any false information, then are pseudonyms disallowed? And if they’re disallowed, have they been enforcing that since last year?