Google doesn't believe I'm me.
Or so they told me today with a note that my profile has been suspended.
"It appears that the name you entered doesn’t comply with our Names
Policy. The Names Policy requires that you use the name that you are commonly referred to
in real life in your profile. Nicknames, maiden names, and so on, should be
entered in the Other Names section of the profile. Profiles are currently
limited to individuals; we will be launching a profile for businesses and other
entities later this year.
"Your profile will be suspended until you do edit your name to comply with the Names
Policy: you will not be able to make full use Google services that require an
active profile, such as Google+, Buzz, Reader and Picasa. This will not prevent
you from using other Google services, like Gmail.
We understand that Google+ and it’s Names Policy may not be for everyone at
this time. We would hate to see you go, but if you choose to leave, make a copy of your
Google+ data first. Then, click here to leave Google+."
Interesting, I've had my name since birth... and a lot longer than Google's own corporate play on the word "googool."
But I'll let that slide for the moment.
(Full disclosure, something similar happened on Facebook but that was fixed... twice.)
Google's Community Standards states that they encourage the use of what everyone knows you as, your "Cheer's name" I'll call it ("Hey, Norm!")
"As part of our standards to help fight spam and prevent fake profiles, please use the name your friends, family or co-workers usually call you. For example, if your full legal name is Charles Jones Jr. but you normally use Chuck Jones or Junior Jones, either of those would be acceptable."
No wonder then that they don't go after folks named Bill, Andy, Buddy, JoeBob or Trip. Well, maybe Trip, but I'm sure that's a Valley thing. 😉
If you believe Google "mistakenly suspended your profile for having an unauthentic name" you can fill out a form at https://www.google.com/support/profiles/bin/request.py?hl=en&contact_type=name_appeal (note that you should only use this form if directed from your profile.)
OK, let's try this and see how it works.
I went ahead and filled out their form, providing my name, email address, Profile URL, and several pieces of "Additional Verification Information" including my ID, links on the web to a "reputable website." I cited my links on Microsoft, Facebook, Bing and even Google's own search engine (as much as I hated to use it ;).
For the record, you won't find a lot of content on my Google profile: I use Windows Live, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for the most part in the social sphere. And no, no one twisted my arm to say that.
Also available via http://bit.ly/qfkJPi