Google’s stance on users listing their real names on Google+ continues to cause headaches on the fledgling social networking site with a spate of account deactivations as users with non-typical names or pseudonyms found their profiles locked and some people feel there are good reasons to use a fake name and also some people have even lost access to all of their Google accounts. Google is pushing to have common names listed rather than allowing users to register weird spellings, obviously fake names or use characters and will also make communications with those affected more comprehensive…………..
There are two closely related issues causing concern among users. The first is the deletion of corporate profiles. When Google+ first opened its doors to a wide range of testers, they asked corporations not to create Profiles based on a brand, and they said that brand profiles would be deleted. Of course, many brands assumed that rule didn’t apply to them and created profiles anyway. Towards the end of last week Google started deactivating these accounts as promised. Some of the impacted brands immediately jumped up on their soapboxes and started screaming bloody murder. Google+ doesn’t currently have the tools to be a broadcast platform and these brands just want to promote, not converse. It’s not a good platform for following brands or even the Internet super-egos who aim their firehoses at G+ and let fly. Google+ with its current array of filtering tools is a platform for talking with friends. If you want to follow 1000 brands, bloggers, movie stars and politicians, stick to Twitter for now. Google has also gone back to banning people who’re using pseudonyms (or names that someone at Google thinks is a pseudonym), according to Violet Blue at ZDMag. In the post Ms. Blue shares various stories relating to account suspensions.
The first is a naming violation. If Google finds you’ve violated their vague naming standards, they’ll suspend your Google Profile. Other Google services remain functional and you can appeal by scanning a photo ID or providing links that establish the name you’re using as something that people normally call you. The more frightening situation is Google accounts being suspended for a violation of Google’s Terms of Service. If this happens to you, you apparently lose access to all Google services: Gmail, Google Docs, your Calendar. All of it goes ‘poof’ as far as you’re concerned. Here’s one story linked to from Ms. Blue’s article, and ex-Googler Kirrily “Skud” Robert, who was suspended for a name violation, suggests that he’s heard of several of these cases:
What I have heard is that many people are losing access to all Google services for some form of ill-defined “violation of our Terms of Service”. This is getting conflated with the names issue, and it’s not surprising. Google’s communication is weak, and they don’t tell you exactly what TOS you broke, so it’s easy to think it must be the name-related thing you’re hearing about happening to other people.
Google shot itself in the foot via (perceived) privacy issues when it launched Buzz. It looked like it had learned its lesson when Google+ launched, but if it continues to let these naming and Terms of Service violation horror stories propagate without responding, we can expect Google+ to quickly grind to a halt. It doesn’t even matter if the stories are true or not; users are believing them and Google is doing nothing to clarify or debunk them. The damage is the same whether they’re or not they’re true.