Hot Topic NBR Focus: GMO
Hot Topic NBR Focus: GMO
3 mins to read

Google+: no fake names, no profiles for dogs, no private profiles

Google+ accounts have been suspended for some users with unusual names or pseudonyms. Plus, all private profiles are to be deleted after July 31.

Alex Walls
Fri, 29 Jul 2011

UPDATED:  Google has said if it is sent government ID's, they will be destroyed.

"We use this information only to confirm your name and to restore your Google Profile. If you provide a copy of your government ID, we will destroy it after we validate your name."




Ever wanted to call yourself ‘Awesometastic Jumblepants’?

Neither have I.

But unless it’s your legal or commonly used name, you can’t use it to create a Google+ profile.  And from July 31st, say goodbye to private profiles. 

Google+ users have complained that their accounts, utilising pseudonyms or unusual names (or not so unusual) or characters, have been suspended for violating Google’s Community Standards.

On the Google+ project support site, Google states that its Profiles work best in the ‘Identified’ state and so requires users to employ their real or commonly used name.

“This way you can be certain you’re connecting with the right person, and others will have confidence knowing that there is someone real behind the profile they’re checking out.”

Google requires a full first and last name, avoiding unusual symbols such as numbers, symbols or “obscure punctuation.”  Users who need obscure punctuation to differentiate their real name from, say, ‘Your mother resembles a bewildered hippo’ in their native language may have to go through the review process for suspended profiles.

Google also says that profiles must represent a single person, so no couples or profiles for your pet rock.

Google community manager Natalie Villalobos responded to user rumblings on July 11, advising suspended users to request a review. 

If Google staff still don’t like the name “Mongo Bongo Suspenderville” after 24 hours, users can request a second appeal and provide additional information to support their name claim. 

The profile is then reviewed via one-to-one communication with Google.

Additional information that users have sent to Google to prove their various names includes scans of driver’s licenses, links to business websites and Facebook accounts. 

And from July 31st, say bye-bye to private profiles.  Google+ announced it would be deleting all private profiles after that date.  Users must make their profile public, delete it themselves or do nothing, and have it deleted for them.

“We believe that using Google Profiles to help people find and connect with you online is how the product is best used. Private profiles don’t allow this, so we have decided to require all profiles to be public.”

Google does point out that the only required information that will be displayed on a profile page is the user’s first name.  If users have legally changed that to, or are commonly known as, “Mannequin Concerto”, and can prove it, they can continue their pseudo-anonymity in peace. That, or just create an account under the name Jane Smith.

Alex Walls
Fri, 29 Jul 2011
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Google+: no fake names, no profiles for dogs, no private profiles