The explosive success of Google+ may be somewhat dampened with news that Google is apparently launching a massive effort to bring accounts into line under their terms of service and seems to be freezing accounts left and right. The issue reportedly springs from Google+’s policy which requires users to enter their real name.
ZDNet reports that people who have entered nicknames or psuedonyms, including writers, entertainers, and regular folks, have found their Google+ accounts inaccessible. While some, including Limor Fried, have managed to get their accounts reactivated not everyone is so lucky. More troubling are reports that the account deletions are happening without warning, and in some extreme cases have locked users out of all Google services.
For those looking to get their accounts re-instated, the path sounds like a labyrinthine journey. Ex-Google employee Kirrily “Skud” Robert recounted that in order to re-instate her account, she was asked to:
give them a scan of my photo ID (obscuring “personal information”, whatever that means), or links to places on the web that demonstrate that this is my name.
While much of the stories are anecdotal, a good number of prominent accounts have gone silent in recent days. With that in mind, this might be a good time to make sure to check that your Google+ account is in full compliance. Remember, if you’re not comfortable using your real name you can always use Facebook.
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