Six months and Google still doesn’t believe I’m me: the troubles with “real” identities

Remember when I noted that after three months, the nameless folks at Google insisted I wasn’t me ?

Well, I’ve been suspended by Google…

“Your profile has been suspended.

“It appears that the name you entered does not comply with the Google+ Names Policy.

“The Names Policy requires that you use the name that you are commonly referred to in real life in your profile. Nicknames, previous names, and so on, should be entered in the Other Names section of the profile. Profiles are limited to individuals; use Google+ Pages for businesses and other entities.”

In other words, I do not comply. šŸ˜‰

After all these months, I’ve not been able to reach anyone in Google’s customer service department (do they have one?) or been contacted by the company for more information. I can’t even comment on the issue when raised on Google Plus, as raised by Mike Elgan.

Oh, well.

As I noted previously, perhaps Google should Bing it. Similar results on Google’s search site, too. To be frank, I was “M3” long before Google was, well Google,. And even then, I wonder if Google had tried to register their name, they’d be denied as it wasn’t their name wasn’t correct (see googol). And it’s been the subjuect of web humour and discussion as noted here and here. 

danah boyd wrote in her post about the the value of pseudonymity that “enforcing “real names” policies in online spaces is an abuse of power.” Since then, we have seen several high profile examples that have come to light, where both pseudonyms as well as real-life names were wantonly eradicated as Google enforced its “real names” policy.

As eloquently put by my friend, Jon Pincus,a few months ago when Plus was referred to a still being in the pilot phase…

“Meanwhile, back on the nymwars front, several of the people on the suggested users list have names that violate the guidelines.  It really highlights the inconsistency of Google’s policies: Dj ASHBA and Chamillionaire the Ceo are ok; Doc Popular, Technogran, and Kaliya IdentityWoman aren’t.  50 Cent and Jennifer 8. Lee are cool; M3 Sweatt isn’t. Once again, to quote Vic, there’s still a ways to go.”

True dat.
With a nod to my friend, Oliver, as I’m unable to get on + with the name that I am commonly referred to in real life, I transliterated it. Perhaps now someone at Google will approve it. šŸ˜‰
More at
Given Vic Gundotra’s first name is Vivek, I wonder if his profile would’ve been denied? Or perhaps he’s leading the way on the use of ‘nyms, as they’re called. šŸ˜‰ 

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3 replies on “Six months and Google still doesn’t believe I’m me: the troubles with “real” identities”

Well for the Microsoft folks who blog here, isn't it required for them to use their real names?  I see that most people over here do.  Fr instance, you can probably figure out that this is one of my aliases on here in the comments.  If I get lots and lots of recognition here, then am I going to have to change it?  

Yes, and my name is on the badge I wear to the office each day.

As for what will happen if you get too much notoriety, Iā€™m not sure much will happen to you WRT your name on MSDN.

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