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Google Culls Google+ Profiles With ‘Dubious’ Names

Google+ has deleted some user accounts without notice, while testing its profile naming policy

On by David Jamieson 0

Google is being criticised for terminating Google+ accounts without notice because users hadn’t used their real names.

Some users who had set up accounts using pseudonyms or mononyms discovered they had been removed because they violated Google+’s terms and conditions.

Google+’s brief display name policy says: “To help fight spam and prevent fake profiles, use the name your friends, family or co-workers usually call you.”

Tech blogger Robert Scoble has been holding court on the issue on his own Google+ page and yesterday relayed a conversation with Google senior VP Vic Gundotra.

He is reported to have said the intended targets for deletion are users who spell their names in odd ways, such as using upside down characters, or those who assume monikers such as ‘God’.

Shirts only

Scoble said Gundotra admitted mistakes in the first attempt to tackle the issue and said Google would give notice of suspension moving forward, but the naming policy would ultimately improve Google+.

“He says he is making some tough choices and that he will be judged over time how those choices turn out,” wrote Scoble.

“He says that he is trying to make sure a positive tone gets set here. Like when a restaurant doesn’t allow people who aren’t wearing shirts to enter.”

Running commentary

Another tech industry personality and ex-Googler Kirrily Robert had her account, labeled ‘Skud’, disabled and has surveyed more than a hundred users in a similar position, providing brief insight into the nature of Google’s profile culling.

Apparently names such as George Meagles, Winter Seale and Jacqueline L. have been deemed undesirable. She has also been reporting on her liaison with Google over re-activating her account.

Google+ has achieved a reported 20 million users within just a few weeks but the platform is being tweaked and developed on the fly, prompting regular debate and fueling running commentary on how it is shaping up.

eWEEK Europe UK, for one, does not rate the survival chances of the eight Google+ accounts purporting to be Lady GaGa.

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