Warning to everyone on google+ using a pseudonym, or an initial instead of your real surname.

Google is deleting accounts on an arbitrary criterion of "real sounding" surnames.

If you don't want to find your profile suspended without warning then

1. if you feel that you can use your real surname without ramifications then perhaps you should.

2. append a "real sounding" surname to your name. "Smith" might be a good one.

3. Keep your head down and do not engage Google personnel or make them aware of your existence.

This is a "field trial" of the new system and clearly we have discovered a "bug". It's a bug in Google's Terms of Service policy.
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44 comments
 
Am I in trouble? lol
 
So they're really turning into Facebook? Blow that for a lark.
 
Hmmm well my name or surname is not your typical north american standard. I guess I'll be delete soon?
 
I don't see the big deal either. 
 
I have a feeling this is going to hinder some people :p
:'(
 
Does anyone here know why they're following this particular policy?
+Ian Pitts - it could be a big deal for people who want to maintain some privacy (for whatever reason) while having an active social interaction on a platform such as this one...
I wonder how this would apply for someone (such as my wife) who have 4 last names... ;)
 
It will be interesting to see... Seale is a common surname, but my account is obviously an avatar's too. =p
 
+Winter Seale tsk tsk tsk, bad person you!
 
People can build a reputation on a pseudonym. It doesn't mean they're anonymous.
 
I think this one will be stirred up by the media into a storm where none really exists. There have been a few cases of people not using their entire name being blocked and it has definitely highlighted a need for a verification layer if Google want to role with identity but give people the flexibility about how they appear. It wouldn't take much of a tide of spam madness to torture this site before it is ready to deal with it. This is a Trial. Things will shake out and Google will need to address some nuanced issues they may not have thought through entirely.

+Justin Eakins I am glad they deleted the chrome apps profile. They have stated they are in early testing of business/organisation style profiles and have asked for people to put themselves forward for the process. When they are happy they will start to role it out wider. Better that than bring the house down before it is built.
 
A gardener has to weed...I just hope I don't end up in the weed pile.
 
Oh I applied to the business / website page profile.
 
Well, I certainly can't fault Google if they want to enforce real names only on their service. As +Jason Bayton pointed out, it's their free service, it's their right.

Only that, if they want to have a larger number of users on Google Plus and a more diverse set of users, this measure will certainly alienate quite a few people. And let's not forget that the "dissident crowd", or at least the people who are critical about things (not necessarily politics) and who want to feel free to speak up, tend to be very passionate users of social media. Alienating that group of users might not be the best move.
 
Justin: No "hate" involved. I just don't want this place all shitted up from the get go with marketers.
 
It shows on your profile and the top right of your stream-- but you mean use that as your sole identification? It's also a little confusing because they also tell you that you should use your nickname as your profile name.
 
I gotta say, I approve of it. Marketers, anonymous, and fake profiles are the things that have ruined other social sites for me - remember the bots on Myspace, fake friends on Facebook, and heavy duty marketers on Twitter? If they are strict about this they'll build loyalty and keep things moving in the right direction, I just hope they stay on top of it and are consistent.
 
I hope they do not delete my account because my surname is also a name of a city in US.
 
I mentioned this somewhere else talking on the topic but celebrities are going to demand verification and many (most) do not use their real names. Have to think that there will be profiles in the pipeline to cater for their needs and anyone else who wants to use a brand name or nom de plume.
Bill K
 
There are at least two different things going on all at the same time, so Google is confusing everyone. Bad PR!

Google announced that Private profiles would no longer be supported after 31 July, but claimed that most Profiles are Public anyway.

From the start Google+ said that they do not support non-human entity accounts. e.g. business or clubs, etc. So early org sites are being deleted. Google will be supporting business and organizations pages in the coming months after the bugs have been shaken out.
 
+Jason Bayton Google invited people to test and provide feedback. That is what we are all doing here. Some people might not like some aspect of the interface some one else might have something to say about this policy or that. Google don't have to listen but that is no reason not to express contrary viewpoints. The "Go Back to Russia" argument is just one point of view.
 
"I mentioned this somewhere else talking on the topic but celebrities are going to demand verification and many (most) do not use their real names."

I would think that celebrities require verification to deal with impostors. Why would they need it if using a pseudonym?
Bill K
 
@Jason- that's right. Google said that a few orgs would be kept for testing the new business pages and apps before rolling them out.
 
I agree consistency is the key... but consistency of my identity is based on my pseudonym, not the ID card name.
 
"Extreme sensitivity to initial conditions" - the butterfly effect. I'm convinced that social networks follow this. Facebook got where it is because when they started, they required a student ID, and a real name. Then for people that followed, that was the "culture". I hope Google is just trying to set the culture here, and does not get anal about it.
 
+A K I have hope now that Google will see some sense. One person suspended today got reinstated after being vouched for by people who know her. I don't know what other details she had to provide to Google.
 
I have no interest in setting up multiple "public profiles", but I have a number of gmail accounts for different online services, and use corresponding pseudonyms on games and game sites, because I have no interest in a prospective employer googling "Peter da Silva" and getting a bunch of gaming sites. Using separate email addresses provides me with a comfortable level of isolation.
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