25. July 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: Google, Google+, website

GrrlScientist has a great post on Monday at the Guardian.co.uk on Google’s decision to only allow people with “Real Sounding” names and the fall out that is starting. Google’s gormless “no pseudonym” policy

One thing I want to point out is this part of the post:

But I am not the only person who has discovered that access to their entire Google-life (reader, blogger, YouTube, G+, etc.) was unexpectedly disabled. In fact, some people’s Google-lives were suspended even though they established their profiles using their real names because someone decided their real name sounded like a pseudonym.

As I posted earlier of all the Google Services that I have, to lose them all at one time would be absolute disaster. So much so that I am now working on removing my need/use of all Google Services since they seem to be taking these steps, accidental or not. With Google doing this its a slippery slope with questionable people in charge of what services I am able to use on Google. I don’t think I can trust Google anymore. One thing I really liked about Google was the separation between all the services with the “Openness” and “Use it as you want” type policies. With the addition of Google Plus and the white washing of the new policies (without notice BTW) to other services to that never did have such polices is disconcerting. Seeing posts like https://plus.google.com/111091089527727420853/posts/Fddn6rV8mBX, that quote from VP’s of Google does not help .

Google is going down a bad path and unless they change course soon, a lot of early adopters and high-tech people I know will leave. The ability to go by a pseudonym is a long-standing right on the internet and every site that doesn’t allow it, suffers from the lack of participation from the people who are known by other names.

 

So you’ve been suspended from Google+. Want to fight said suspension?

Well you need to know what their policies are before you try request a review of your profile.

Here are some links for your information and they are current as of 7/23/2011. If they change (and could do so without notice) let me know and I will update them.

If you go through those links you will see that they all don’t match up.

Here is a link to the Google+ Forums on account suspensions: http://www.google.com/intl/en/+/learnmore/forum/#!topic/google-plus-discuss/lEK74ibgN18/discussion

You will see a post from Natalie – Google Community Manager that goes over how and what hoops to jump through to try to get Google to consider unsuspending your account. I have included an image of her post just in case it’s ever removed.

You can see that on July 10, 2011 she announces that they won’t allow any more Names with any “Unusual Characters” in the name. As a Google+ user I didn’t get that notification nor see it in any of the policies or guidelines as of this post.
 

Read it.. now what?

Once you have read all of the policies and guidelines and still believe you were in your right, you just need to follow the link to request a Review by their team members. After 24 hours they will either bring your profile back or require further appeal. You will then have to provide further information to support the claim that you are using a name they are willing to accept. Best of luck on this.

Skud (another person suspended from Google+) has documented how to go about the request for review process here.

Who else has been suspended?

Skud, wants to know who else is suspended and is asking others that have been suspended to fill out a form https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dFZHSEZ6ZURPQkpyTldMMXFFNkJrU0E6MQ#gid=0.

Last Words

Needless to say Google+ is a “Trial Run Service” or BETA as Gmail was for over 5 years. If you do not like Google’s Policies on how they run this service, you can send feedback to them. Otherwise, it’s probably best wait till they go “Live” with the service and let others deal with the headaches of getting things ironed out.

 

Just wanted to share this post and quotes on who is harmed by “Real Names” policies.

Real Name post

Who is harmed by a “Real Names” policy?

This page lists groups of people who are disadvantaged by any policy which bans Pseudonymity and requires so-called “Real names” (more properly, legal names).

This is an attempt to create a comprehensive list of groups of people who are affected by such policies.

The cost to these people can be vast, including:

  • harassment, both online and offline
  • discrimination in employment, provision of services, etc.
  • actual physical danger of bullying, hate crime, etc.
  • arrest, imprisonment, or execution in some jurisdictions
  • economic harm such as job loss, loss of professional reputation, etc.
  • social costs of not being able to interact with friends and colleagues
  • possible (temporary) loss of access to their data if their account is suspended or terminated

The groups of people who use pseudonyms, or want to use pseudonyms, are not a small minority (some of the classes of people who can benefit from pseudonyms constitute up to 50% of the total population, and many of the others are classes of people that almost everyone knows). However, their needs are often ignored by the relatively privileged designers and policy-makers who want people to use their real/legal names.

23. July 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: Data Liberation, Google, Google+

GDLF image

Before Google+ went live, the Data Liberation website went up. These are instructions on how to backup up your data from all Google Services.

Did they suspect that new policies would cause many to be upset and want to leave? Maybe they saw the uproar from Facebook’s policy changes so much that they decided to build this.

Again its sad to see them take this stance. I wonder what is prompting such things though.

 

[UPDATE] – 3:00 pm 07/23/2011

Just went through the “Take Out” option and downloaded all my information from Google. For being on Google over the past decade, I only had 107,880,559 bytes of data. Not bad. I was able to view all my Picasa images,  Buzz Posts, Google Plus posts and contacts, etc..

I now feel much better in having downloaded all of this so that I can Delete things from Google without worry.

You broke my heart GoogleDear Google,

You are getting far to Facebooky with unclear rules and Yahoo’y with no proven steps to respond and fight the suspensions on Google’s part.

With the open invitations to Google Plus, people flocked to you so that they could try the newest thing. People like L0gexSpidra Webster, and others like Thomas Monopoly have been suspended without clear reason. This isn’t just the Google Plus, but other services they used like +1, and Picasa that Google has decided to tie into the Google Plus policies.

It’s a shame that you are taking the position your taking on names. I know several people who use alias’ in real life, “Nick names” you could say, and have had an account with Google and those names for years without issue.

In one fell swoop, you have gone corporate and it appears you are no longer standing up for the original internet users with the “Use The Service How You Want To” and “Make it yours” type attitude that you held for so long. I’m very sad to see this. I thought you were a company that would support those that participated with all your services, real name or not. Guess Not.

I understand that Google Plus is Beta, but as with most of your services, it’s all BETA until a decade after its running. With the new Powers That Be that have decided using a nick name on the internet is not OK, I think its time I start to look at moving my services away from Google. It’s a shame really, but after Facebook’s shenanigans I just find it hard to be able to trust any company that starts down this path.

I honestly can’t say I will shutdown my account with all Google Services, but probably I will just seriously curb my usage of all Google services and apps and be more mindful of what I use on pretty much all services with any corporation on the internet. This is a good thing really as I have become far too attached to you. It would be too easy for you to change your mind and kill my account and delete all my data without notice. I know how you corporations like that control over your customers.

Things that I will have to start to research to replace:

New Smart Phone: Currently have a HTC Evo 4G with Sprint. Maybe its time to play with Microsoft phones again.

Google Apps: I manage several Google Apps accounts for friends, clubs, and myself. I am going to have to start to move them over to something I control and manage.

Google Chromebook: Yeah guess that’s not going to happen now.

My own Google GMail account: Damn this is everywhere. I thought I was going to be able to use it for a long time. Guess all good things must come to an end. I’m going to start to move my email services over to my own hosted email system.

Google Voice: This is painful part. I have been using this number as my main number with GrandCentral before Google bought the service. I’m going to have to research this more.

RSS Reader: Luckily there are other services out there that I can move to with these.

Chrome: Firefox want to give it another try?

Search Engine: Crap… there isn’t anything else out there that I like or find as useful. Guess its time to start to search without logging in though.

Unfortunately this is too much like breaking up. Every service I use and was committed to have makes it harder to move, but if anything, it’s not good to become too committed to any one thing, all your eggs in one basket and all that sort of thing.

Positive side of this, I can distribute my internet services out more to other companies or free self hosted services and I really like that in the long run.

Sincerely,

Chris

P.S. I hope you come to your senses on these things and go back to your “Use the Service how you want” ways.

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