GOOGLE, YOU'RE MAKING ME LOOK BAD…
Every time I log in here I find that yet another Google staffer or defender has issued yet another iteration of this: "Of COURSE Google doesn't disable your other services just because there's a problem with your profile name!"
By now the party line seems to be that the above-mentioned notion is a "myth." Most conspicuously to my knowledge, that claim was made by +Bradley Horowitz
in a post last night (linked below) that was quickly reported by ZDNet ( http://goo.gl/jOvzC
Well, as I titled my comment on the ZDNet blog… not quite. And I'd like to iterate that one time for the record here on my little G+ page.
As only those not-so-lucky faithful who were affected are likely to remember, +Michael Hermeston
posted a week ago today: "Starting today, users will no longer need to go through SMS verification when their profile name is under review." ( http://goo.gl/oMDI0
) Thanks, Michael—far as I know, you're the only Googler who's admitted that it was happening.
Great that y'all stopped subjecting people to that SMS verification thing, Google. Because, you know, when you can't log in, you can't use Gmail. Or anything else Google. That's what happened to me early on the Saturday before Michael posted his update.
Now someone could quibble and say I wasn't really shut down because once I got the verification code and logged in, my Gmail, Reader, Calendar, etc. were in business-as-usual condition; only G+ was disabled. But the bottom line is I had to pay to regain access in the form of information I didn't really want to give up.
And that was three days later. Because the sorry-you-aren't-allowed-in-here page I got said I was locked out due to "suspicious activity." I read up on that and decided maybe my account would revert to normal if I left it alone until the work week got under way. I thought perhaps the problem was that I'd been logged in on two different devices for too many hours. Or because the last person I gave a G+ invitation to turned out to be underage. Or because someone was guessing at my password, trying
to hack my Gmail. And on and on. Sure, I also wondered if it had something to do with my profile name being the decidedly nonstandard "Kathi d/b/a fuzzyscorpio." But that certainly didn't seem to fit under the heading of "suspicious activity." As far as I can tell or anyone has informed me, though, the name was the problem, and the ONLY problem, triggering the lockout.
As some may recall, the insult added to injury when I did log in was finding myself in the circles of exactly six other users. I had been in the circles of almost 700. That damage, which Michael Hermeston, in a comment on my July 19 post, said "appears to be a legitimate bug," fortunately was repaired somehow.
Although I do appreciate the attention paid to my little train wreck and I hate to keep complaining, I have to say that the "myth" language is hard to take, because it makes me look like (a) a liar, (b) a nutcase or (c) someone trying to throw a smokescreen over TOS violations in another Google service.
Of course I am a mere insignificant speck on the Jumbotron that is Googledom, but I'm beginning to feel like this very early adopter of Gmail, iGoogle and Buzz was thrown under the bus, snatched out of there just in time—and then thrown under it again.
If I may be excused for mixing in another metaphor… come on, Google, would it really kill you guys to admit that you WERE using a bazooka to kill mice in the early days of the crackdown?
Well, thanks anyway for letting me get that off my chest. I'll try to go forth and be merry now. :)