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Mister +Bradley Horowitz

I understand that you likely have more comments and posts directed to your attention than you can handle. In which case, this one will probably be lost among the shuffle, alas. Nevertheless, I'd like to get this said.

At one time or another, I’ve been involved in computer and Internet security. I’ve investigated breaches, secured systems, cleaned off rootkits. I’ve worked with the Federal police to locate and identify malefactors and bring them to justice – something that often comes with a price.

For some years, you’ve provided me with services that handle my email, and private conversations, and allow me to pursue activities online while feeling safe from the risks that I personally am keenly aware of. You’ve taken care of that data, and I’ve trusted you with it. I always felt safe doing so. Safe from discrimination, harassment, threats and intimidation – within acceptable limits. Safe from having my privacy breached or my identity misused.

Enter Google Plus and Google Profiles. A quick glance through their terms, and I felt comfortable with them, and once again, I felt safe with the new services. That lasted about a couple of days, until your people suspended one of my friends because they didn’t care for the name he was using.

Over the next few days, Google suspended dozens of my friends, co-workers, and colleagues. Some were using pseudonyms, other were not. Some Google insisted on government-issued ID for, and some they did not. Some were reinstated, and some were not. Some lost access to other services – which Google employees acknowledged as a known glitch – and some did not.

Many lost confidence and deleted themselves. Of course each person lost represents a greater loss in network effects.

And throughout, a number of prominent people used their well-known pseudonyms without challenge, simply because the names were recognisable to Google employees. That’s quite inconsistent.

As I understand it now, you’re asking me – and people like me – to give up either our privacy or all of our social contacts on Google Plus, our Google Profiles, our Plus Ones and any product that you might choose to hook up to those profiles in future.

That’s very much a “the devil or the deep-blue-sea” sort of choice you’ve presented us with.

And you’re doing it so that we can feel safer.

Well, sir, respectfully… I do not feel safe. I no longer do. You have extended certain measures of privacy to me, and the not inconsiderable feeling of safety that it brings, and told me that I must give it back.

And here’s the kicker. Even if I were to do so, there seems to be no guarantee whatsoever that your organisation might not throw me out anyway while exercising its capricious and lackadaisical enforcement, targeting people who are operating under nicknames and maiden names or various handles.

So, I can yield up my privacy unto you, and feel unsafe thereby.

I can leave, abrogating the benefits of some current and future Google products – and naturally having to treat any remaining Google products with suspicion in case they are folded in under the same terms.

I can remain as-is, under the name that I am best-known by.

And for each of these three options, I might be suspended anyway.

That does not exactly represent choice, sir. For me, each of the three options above represents a losing position.

Do I expect to change your mind? No, sir, I do not. It has been made abundantly clear that Google does not intend to alter its course on this matter.

I am considering my choice between these options, and I am wondering instead if you are interested in changing my mind.

Quite sincerely,

Tateru Nino (the same one that your company's recruiters try to hire several times every year)
Gretchen S.'s profile photoLol Auster's profile photoEdward Morbius's profile photoIcarus Anne Riley's profile photo
The loss of confidence and the implication for future Google products (or even changing terms in current ones) are major reasons for me to so vehemently try to hold Google to its earlier practice and credo.
Google: Do not start down this road.
Indeed. The fear of capricious reprisal hanging over one's head really puts a damper on the mood. The only reason I feel okay with this account is that it's a clean skin -- I created a Gmail account specifically for Google+ that had no contacts or emails or documents associated with it that I would mind losing. Of course, it's darned hard to find people without the contacts.

If, in a few weeks, I find I'm enjoying this service, I'll probably also feel that I have something to lose. At that point, if the same policy continues (or other more sinister varieties of censorship crop up), I'll have to weigh that fear against the benefit. I expect many others will do the same analysis and decide that, while communicating in 140 character bursts is a pain in the rear, it has its benefits, and we'll stay where we feel safer.
Irony : GooglePlus leading to a wholesale MinusGoogle
I want more buttons! Can't I give this post a ++? Ooh... Maybe someone'll + it on my behalf? =^-^=

For real, though... When I heard of the suspensions, I figured all I could do was count the days. And, boy howdy, was I right. I'm obviously un-suspended. But, I've never been told why anything happened at all. (>_<)

I don't know what my supposed violation was. I don't know what was determined in order to find my suspension in error. I can assume that my profile's current state is not in violation, given, it's passed a review. But, I don't know if I won't have to put up with this mess again... (._.)
Interesting. Did all the Plus Ones on this post vanish, or is it just me?
Nope, that doesn't appear to be the case.

However, whenever I open this post in the notifications sidebarpopupthingamabob, the +1 button appears to be completely fresh.
but if I open the post directly, all the +1s show up.

This indicates the presence of a bug in the template.
Hmm. The +1's have stayed for me, even in the sidebar. At least, my +1 and 28 others have remained.
Apparently +1's disappearing for some is a current glitch. Others are mentioning it too.
Very well put. Google talks about safety, but it's they who want to feel safe by knowing (or at least thinking they know) who everyone is, while the rest of us have to accept feeling unsafe using their product.
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