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The scandal of the day. Lots of resharing and discussions today. The short version is that he violated ToS on his personal gmail account, was locked out and appears to be confusing that with access to his free GApps account. These two threads show real Google advisors giving him way more support than normal. +Danny Sullivan nailed it by pointing out how good customer service only happens when you create a firestorm on some social entwork.

For the details on this particular guy go here

and here
Google is pretty confident that this guy violated the ToS on his gmail account. His additional statements about his Google Apps account do not appear to be accurate.

I personally don't care about this person. Whether he was wronged or is an inveterate spammer or worse doesn't matter.

This episode highlights concerns with the increasing dependency on 3rd parties for concepts as vital as identity. The real problem is that we routinely mistake authentication for identity. Google provides an authentication service but other services (like twitter) use that as if it was identity.

+Tantek Çelik is probably smiling wryly at this entire mess. We're a long way from a world when everyone can be and is responsible their own online presence. Unlike the real world we lack alternatives when it comes to online access and presence. If someone blocks my driveway I can always walk out the back of my property and across my neighbour's yard.

In the mean time, Google needs to come clean on the fact that they are a landlord. Even if they don't charge rent, the data in a locked account belongs to the user, not Google. Google Takeout is a perfectly valid solution to the problem. No you can't access your account but feel free to vacate the premises in the next 90 days or we'll toss your crap forever.
TwitLonger is a simple service that lets you post those tricky messages that really do need more than 140 characters and send them to Twitter
Jim Menard's profile photoDaniel Seltzer's profile photoTantek Çelik's profile photoMichael Winser's profile photo
Done! I even setup phpMyID (since WordPress and I are agreeing to go our separate ways as soon as I have the time to replace it).
Because WP seems to have a non trivial security hole every 6 months and I never have the time to tend to my WP install. The last major WP problem resulted in my blog being infested with malware and my site blacklisted by google.
+Tantek Çelik Done. Looking into more static blog solutions now. I don't want to have to ssh in order to post but I'm thinking about it.
A few people use Github as their blog platforms. There's but that requires your readers be geeky enough to use it. There's also a way on Github to create a magic documentation branch that gets published to a Github URL; that might be easier for your readers.
Just found out that OS X Lion busted my PATH and who knows what. Sigh.
[Just realized comments are single-threaded...] I haven't had those problems with WP, and studiously apply the updates (thanks to auto-notifications). My Google ranking seems fine, the software seems stable, and I've had no malware of it that I'm aware of. I've actually held it in high regard because it simply does the things I want, doesn't break, and is very low cost.
+Michael Winser The twitlonger link and the post from Thomas Monopoly appear to have been deleted. Was this issue resolved? I'm looking for a link to direct interactions / posts by either the wronged party (presumably "Thomas Monopoly") or some official Google statement on this issue.
+Tantek Çelik Yes it was resolved and to be fair to Google their handling was probably as good as it could be under the circumstances.

+Matt Cutts also posted on the topic:

Matt's suggestion to "not upload images like that" is, of course, not really helpful. One man's obviously wrong is another man's obviously not.

The only real fault I can find in Google's handling is that the one person who needed to be the most informed about the issue, Thomas Monopoly, had very little extra information and was somewhat confused about what had really happened.

I think most of the hoopla was actually caused by the coincidence of his gmail account being suspended while Google was also suspending Google Profiles for violating their "real names" policy. Time to go re-read Vernor Vinge's classic

I don't understand why Google et al aren't lobbying like crazy for common carrier status for things like email so they can stop worrying about enforcing anything except system level abuse.
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