Last Wednesday (5 days ago, 3 business days) I was suspended from Google+ for violating the part of their names policy that states one must use the name they most commonly go by in real life, by using the name I most commonly go by in real life. As I stated in that post when I blogged about it, I selected the button to edit my name, left it untouched, and this then submit my case for review. They state that this review process takes an average of 4 days, and we will continue to be able to use our accounts as per normal while this takes place.
Today I went to +1 someone’s post, and got an error stating “There was a problem performing this action, please try again”. Odd, but not the first time Google+ has acted up on me. Closing the page and re-opening usually fixes it, or restarting my browser. Not this time though, so I thought I’d run a test by posting something to my wall. This time I got a different error.
“Your profile is currently suspended. View profile”.
As you can see from my profile, I last succesfully posted something to my stream yesterday. I have still been getting people adding me to circles on G+ all throughout the day as well. I have not received any emails or notifications to state any changes to my account either through Google+ or through email (spam folders checked as well). My profile cannot be viewed by other accounts either.
Google have just decided out of the blue to change things so that those whose names are under review can no longer use the site as per normal. At least I hope that’s the case as the only other option that comes to mind is that they decided to decline my review and not tell me or provide me with any feedback or options.
My Google Profile has just been flagged for not complying with the names policy. I was just refreshing my Google+ page and the message shown to the left came up. As you can see, it clearly states that the Google+ names policy is to “use the name that you are commonly referred to in real life”. This name, is “Bastard Sheep”. Read more…
Those who follow me on Twitter, MyFace and Google+ will know that I have been linking a fair bit recently to news articles and blog posts about Google disabling peoples G+ profiles for doing nothing more than using a pseudonym. There has been a large amount of discussion about it in the media too which I find surprising. I wouldn’t have expected the media to care less about this story. I’m also surprised so many people seem up in arms about it mostly because it’s been MyFace’s policy to only allow real names from the very start. Nobody seemed to give two hoots back when MyFace started, nor do they give two hoots now.
I thought it was about time I threw my two cents in to the mix, as someone who exclusively uses a pseudonym online and actively uses that same pseudonym in real life. There are already plenty of arguments about who is harmed by a “real name” policy, so I suggest you read those instead if that’s what you’re after. Personally, I’ll be tackling some of the main questions and arguments I’ve seen in the last week in support of a “real name” policy, and why these arguments don’t hold water.
Suggested reading before you go on: