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#identity #google+ A bunch of people have asked for a detailed recap of the G+ suspension and reinstatement of my account, so here are the deets in case anyone finds the info useful.

How did you find out your Google+ account was suspended?

I didn't recognize the first warning that my profile was suspended because it didn't say as much - when I tried to access my Gmail account, I got a message that my Gmail account was locked because they had detected "unusual activity", and the only way to get back in was to confirm via SMS or voice call to my phone. I assumed this meant my Gmail account was compromised and went round checking some other accounts and things and was mildly freaked out - I rely on Gmail quite heavily and had no idea the "unusual activity" message was related to my profile.

Then a little later, I was in the middle of typing an update expressing concern about the number of people in my circles who seemed to be getting suspended when I noticed I couldn't save the post. I refreshed the page, tried again, and still no luck. Finally started clicking around to figure out why things were broken and that's when I saw the message on my G+ account profile that I was suspended, but it took a few tweets from other people before I realized my gmail account "unusual activity" message and the G+ suspension were related.

What can you see/do on Google+ when you're suspended?

When your account is suspended, you can still see your incoming stream, and notices get sent to your phone/email/whatever if you had that set up, but you can't edit anything but your actual profile and you can't comment, reply, etc.

What steps did you take to get your account reinstanted?

I immediately clicked the little link to have my profile reviewed (there's no comment box to type anything in in your defense, just a link to click), and also highlighted the suspension message and used the "Send Feedback" feature to actually say my piece about why suspending my account made no sense. I also posted on their blog, sent emails, tweeted a bunch (which got retweeted a bunch), and asked a few friends with Googlers in their circles to say something on my behalf. Which of these things might have helped get my account reinstated, or if any of them had an impact, I have no idea.

Did Google require you to disclose additional RL details to get reinstated?

The short answer is no, other than when I confirmed my cell phone number to get access to my Gmail acct. But then again, I don't use "Fleep Tuque" because I wish to remain anonymous, but because - irony of ironies - Fleep Tuque is unique and ranks higher on Google search (!), so my real name was already in my profile under the "Other names" field and I already had links to a bunch of websites in my profile that made my RL identity quite obvious. I don't know if this made any difference.

How were you notified that your Google+ account was reinstated?

I wasn't. No email, no apology, no notice, no nothing. I just happened to have a tab open in my browser that was still on my profile page and I sort of absentmindedly refreshed the page and viola, the suspension notice was gone. And then I made my first test post and it worked, so big yay.. except I still know a bunch of other people who are still suspended, so I won't feel good about using Google+ until I know I wasn't just lucky or noisy enough to get my account back.

Feel free to copy and paste outside of Google+ if you know someone who's suspended and is wondering what others have done to get reinstated!
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12 comments
 
Just to be clear -- were you able to quickly get back into Gmail, or did you have to wait for the review of your G+ account?
 
After doing the SMS verification, access to Gmail and other Google services is available immediately.

My experience is almost the same as Fleep's, except that only complained in so far as Twitter.
 
As soon as I confirmed my cell phone number and put in the code they texted me, I could access Gmail again immediately. They also had an option to call a phone number if you couldn't receive an SMS message.
 
Er that is, you give them a phone number to call and they will give you the code audibly, I assume with an auto-attendant recording or something.
 
This is basically how things went for me - except I didn't contact Google at all in regards to my suspended Google+ account. I just assumed all was lost. I confirmed my gmail via home phone number.
 
Well, welcome back. Phew!! Weird. It seems to follow no rhyme or reason who they are suspending.
 
How does Google "know" that you're not using your real name? And how did you find out that was the reason they suspended your account? I'm just wondering because I don't have my phone number associated anywhere with gmail and don't know if that's a requirement to keep from getting suspended?
 
I don't think they DO know, I think names that seem "obviously" fake are the ones getting flagged, and in many cases what sounds fake turns out to be real and what sounds real turns out to be a pseudonym. That's part of why the policy has been such a disaster - it's not even fairly enforced or really ABLE to be fairly enforced unless they make everyone - including those with "real" sounding names - send them a copy of the authenticated photo ID or something, which I doubt very much they'd do. It's bad policy all the way around.
 
I find it a little invasive of my privacy to require me to use my real name. I understand why they would prefer it (to keep spammers out more than likely), but hopefully they don't start doing something along the lines of Amazon where your real name is verified by a credit card.
 
I think it is foolish of them and is a new and worrisome direction for a major online service like Google where a number of us have had email accounts, blogs, hosted groups and discussions using our pseudonyms. It seems like changing the rules in mid-stream. However, since the dawn of the internet I have participated in some groups and forums where real names were required and others where pseudonyms were required, and still others where you could choose. I don't remember a lot of debate about that. If you didn't like the rules, you didn't participate. This is different because it feels like a sea-change at Google.
 
Hi  Fleep,

I would like to ask how I can appeal to Google and please possibly get my personal Google + account reinstated, which was suspended recently without any reason. I have no way of appealing as it gives me no option and I cannot even make the necessary changes on the profile as I have no access to it.

Instead I see this: 

Your profile is currently suspended 
Until your profile is unsuspended, you will be unable to use this feature. 
Visit your profile to learn more. 

Link for Google + page (https://plus.google.com/b/114866408986081563993/+GratisolLabsHyderabad/about

I have also submitted in the below location but no update from last week.

https://support.google.com/plus/contact/suspension_appeal

Please can you help? I would be extremely grateful. 

Warmth, 
Arjun Reddy
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