Shortly after I started this blog, I tried to promote it a bit on Google+, the community that Google had hoped would be its rival to Facebook (but which, apart from inspiring a pretty devoted, but small, following, hasn’t taken off). Pretty quickly, Google acted against me – they deactivated my profile (“N. Likes,” they said, “is not compliant with Google’s ‘Names Policy.’”) For a day, they took down my blog (which ultimately inspired me to move to my own self-hosted domain).
Yesterday, I learned that my real name (not N, but the name you don’t know, by which I lead my life) may not, itself, be in compliance with Google’s Names Policy. My Google+ profile was disabled. And I got a nastygram to that effect. I’m now engaged in an “appeals” process, whereby I submit evidence that my name is my name. And, in the mean time, I may not use certain of Google’s services linked to my name.
I suppose you get what you pay for, right? (And, conversely, it’s a reminder that if you really need something, it may be worth actually paying for it.)
Postscript: I just received this from Google:
Thanks for sending us your appeal. You’re right: your name does comply with the Google+ Names Policy. Your name has been updated on your Google+ profile. If you submitted the appeal during sign up, your profile has now been restored. Log in to Google+.
Sorry for the inconvenience,
The Google+ team.
Gee, thanks, guys….