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Google Social Networks Technology

Google+ Account Suspended? You Won't Find Out Why 341

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-a-mystery dept.
jfruh writes "Dan Tynan is a tech writer and blogger who discovered, while trying to post links to his writing on his Google+ profile, that his account had been suspended. This despite the fact that he used his real name and didn't violate the terms of service in any other way. Upon appeal his account was reinstated, just as mysteriously as it was shut down, but along the way he discovered a rash of people with suspended Google+ accounts who can't figure out what they did to anger the Google gods."
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Google+ Account Suspended? You Won't Find Out Why

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  • by riverat1 (1048260) on Friday August 03, 2012 @11:32AM (#40868551)

    Is Google acting like the TSA?

    • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Friday August 03, 2012 @11:44AM (#40868733)

      One of the persons suspended by Google has an "unusual name". She didn't say what.... maybe Blossom or Flower or something. In any case she pointed-out the name on G+ is the same as the name on her credit card (which she registered to make paymentws), but that's not good enough for the Microsoft... Apple... ooops, I mean Google fuckup corporation. It deserves to be boycotted.

      • Just like MS... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by leuk_he (194174) on Friday August 03, 2012 @11:57AM (#40868947) Homepage Journal

        Same happens at MS.. upload a file that violates their code of conduct [microsoft.com] policy to MS sky drive, and your windows 7 phone account will be permanently blocked [tweakers.net] without telling what file caused it or getting any good response.

        Note that that includes files that are not yet shared of, and includes partial nudity

        • by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Friday August 03, 2012 @12:24PM (#40869353) Homepage Journal

          Same happens at MS.. upload a file that violates their code of conduct [microsoft.com] policy to MS sky drive, and your windows 7 phone account will be permanently blocked [tweakers.net] without telling what file caused it or getting any good response.

          Note that that includes files that are not yet shared of, and includes partial nudity

          Not just like Google, then, because if Google blocks your Google+ account, only your Google+ account gets blocked, regardless of a bunch of widely-repeated erroneous reporting early on.

        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          Which is why you shouldn't tie any accounts together that you absolutely positively don't have to. I don't trust, in no particular order or level of evil, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, or any other corp for that matter to do anything but max profits and fuck you over at the first convenience.

          Lets face it folks if ANY of these corps could have their stocks go up by 15% by throwing you in a cage with an enraged horny silverback you'd be getting some gorilla loving before sundown and the only ques

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      If there is not apparent reason that anger the Google gods, the other thing that came to mind is that there is always a dumbass that deleted the wrong accounts by mistake. ..wait...wait... the conspiracy theories are always more fun.
      • by Sir_Sri (199544)

        Ya there are so many things that could have happened that wasn't his fault. Spam filter wrongly flagging accounts (for god knows what reasons) would be the most obviously. It could be someone reported his account as spamming when it wasn't and the automated tools blocked it. It could be someone accidentally deactivated the wrong account, and so on.

        They might not be telling him why his account was deactivated because there wasn't a reason. Mistakes do happen.

      • by gmanterry (1141623) on Friday August 03, 2012 @12:59PM (#40869843) Journal

        If there is not apparent reason that anger the Google gods, the other thing that came to mind is that there is always a dumbass that deleted the wrong accounts by mistake. ..wait...wait... the conspiracy theories are always more fun.

        That sure happens. Just today I had to find a new auto insurance company because Geico mistakenly sent a letter to the state DMV stating that I had canceled my car insurance. They kept insisting that it was no big deal because I was still covered. They could not understand that if I get pulled over and the cops think my car is uninsured, they impound my car. No big deal to them, big, big, deal to me.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by LordLimecat (1103839)

        Over the years, the far more likely scenario that Ive seen is that people do something they KNOW is a violation of some ToS or another, and then claim innocence to the broader community in some vain hope of getting their account back. This happens ALL the time in gaming communities, where a botter / hacker claims "it must have been my G15 keyboard" or "it must have been my use of Wine"-- until everyone finds out that no, you really are just a dirty cheater.

        I mean, heres the mental calculus I use. There is

    • by Ukab the Great (87152) on Friday August 03, 2012 @12:04PM (#40869041)

      Worse--like e-Harmony.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      This is old news. They took away mcgrew@gmail.com several years ago, and they didn't give a reason then, either.

  • Oh, Google. (Score:4, Funny)

    by w3dg (1079833) on Friday August 03, 2012 @11:33AM (#40868569)
    Art thou not aware of thine own future? Art thou so evil, one cannot trust thy anymore? Woe is me. Woe is me...
    • Re:Oh, Google. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Antipater (2053064) on Friday August 03, 2012 @11:53AM (#40868891)
      Why is it so hard for people to use "thee", "thy", and "thine"? I mean, I know people don't know it because it's archaic, and I know it's only really used facetiously. But seriously, it follows the same rules as "me", "my", and "mine". Try telling someone "you cannot trust my anymore." The confusion should be good for a laugh.
      • by dgatwood (11270)

        But seriously, it follows the same rules as "me", "my", and "mine".

        No, it doesn't. The GP's usage was correct. The word "thine" is also used instead of "thy" when the word after it begins with a vowel.

        • by dgatwood (11270)

          My bad. There was an error; I missed the one word you were referring to. That word should have been thee, as you implied. But the point still remains that it does not quite follow the same rules.

        • But seriously, it follows the same rules as "me", "my", and "mine".

          No, it doesn't. The GP's usage was correct. The word "thine" is also used instead of "thy" when the word after it begins with a vowel.

          You can do that with "mine" too; it's just an older form that doesn't get used much anymore. If I want to sound archaic and formal, I can talk about "mine own laptop computer" and still be grammatically correct (though, again, sounding like a prick). Even if that weren't true, though, "cannot trust thy anymore" is not ever OK.

          Great, and now I sound like a prick even arguing about it. Bah!

      • Re:Oh, Google. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by dyingtolive (1393037) <brad...arnett@@@notforhire...org> on Friday August 03, 2012 @12:29PM (#40869427)
        Fuck, I'd be thrilled if people would figure out "they're", "their", and "there".
      • I just assumed he was trying to sound like a cross between King James and Jar Jar Binks.
  • Shenanigans (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 03, 2012 @11:34AM (#40868575)

    Honest question. How many of those banned users are fabricated by the facebook anti google pr machine?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Honest question. How many of those banned users are fabricated by the facebook anti google pr machine?

      That's not an "honest question" at all.

      It's an accusation without a shred of evidence to support it, clumsily disguised as a question to excuse said lack of evidence.

      Despite what Glenn Beck may have told you, putting a question mark at the end of your lie does not make you less of a liar.

    • Based upon the article, I'd say virtually none.

      Dan himself didn't have a long term problem - his account was suspended while under review (it wasn't deleted or anything like that) and other than the fact he's not sure why it happened in the first place, there's no problem other than mild inconvenience.

      The others consist of people Dan found while Googling for tales of having one's account suspended. They include rather obvious cases where someone has a "suspicious name" and has managed to fall foul of t

  • I move that Google+ should be renamed Google+ RTM. Rush being the key word. Lack of planning and proper procedural modelling.

  • by aglider (2435074) on Friday August 03, 2012 @11:37AM (#40868625) Homepage

    Even Google has bugs!

    • by jkflying (2190798) on Friday August 03, 2012 @11:53AM (#40868879)

      Never attribute to malice what could be attributed to incompetence... Google does go by the model of 'eventual consistency' with search, so perhaps some of that ethos spilled over into the G+ data handling.

    • by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Friday August 03, 2012 @12:01PM (#40869007) Homepage Journal

      Even Google has bugs!

      Indeed.

      BTW, I want to put in a plug for using Google's "Send Feedback" link. Not only is a pretty cool piece of work technically (it basically has to implement a full HTML rendering engine in Javascript in order to dynamically construct the image of the page you're seeing, with your problem areas highlighted), it actually does get a lot of internal attention. Feedback gets classified and similar comments tracked over time, with lots of pretty graphs and charts, and teams scrub their feedback regularly. Things that are bothering lots of people get bug reports generated and added to the internal bug reporting system, and they get prioritized and fixed.

      The one failing of the Google feedback system, IMO, is that it lacks feedback. By that I mean that there's no response back to the submitter letting them know what's being done or when the problem is fixed. I think I'm going to submit feedback on feedback, pointing out that feedback needs feedback.

      • I think that is probably the biggest issue of all... never an indication of "we got your report" a "thanks" or "we're looking into it" ... It's disconcerting every time I have an issue wrt google... it seems the fastest responses seem to be when people start flooding twitter with complaints re a bug/outage/error. I can understand their reasoning, it just irks me.
      • by 6Yankee (597075)

        I think I'm going to submit feedback on feedback, pointing out that feedback needs feedback.

        Yo dawg...

      • The one failing of the Google feedback system, IMO, is that it lacks feedback. By that I mean that there's no response back to the submitter letting them know what's being done or when the problem is fixed. I think I'm going to submit feedback on feedback, pointing out that feedback needs feedback.

        If you want recursive feedback, you need to specify a termination condition.

      • by Animats (122034)

        The one failing of the Google feedback system, IMO, is that it lacks feedback.

        Which means they're wasting your time. As a general policy, I never use "feedback" systems that don't generate a response, a public posting, or a ticket number.

  • by G3ckoG33k (647276) on Friday August 03, 2012 @11:38AM (#40868637)

    the short, fun version
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ymyWS82NsY [youtube.com]

    The long, serious version
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hATC_2I1wZE [youtube.com]

    The original, analog version
    http://www.amazon.com/1984-Signet-Classics-George-Orwell/dp/0451524934 [amazon.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 03, 2012 @11:45AM (#40868755)

    By shifting our online communication to a few proprietary services like Facebook, Twitter, and G+, this is exactly what we're begging for: censored tweets, data-mining of everything we say for advertisement purposes, EULAs that grant ownership of our pictures and videos to those services, and more.

    Collectively, internet users are *begging* for this kind of world, where we can only communicate at someone else's whim.

    • by aztracker1 (702135) on Friday August 03, 2012 @12:25PM (#40869365) Homepage
      Well, there's always Diaspora... though it's really polished for what it has, it's lacking in a lot of ways, and missing something (everyone else you know).
    • by yoshi_mon (172895)

      Hence why anyone with a bit of IT knowledge will not shift to such models save for throwaway accounts. (And will try, often in vein, to do the same for our users/friends/family. When it does not work, hey at least we tried.)

      And the kicker is that ISPs offer webmail too. So it is not like users even need give that up by using an account that they pay for and thus will have a direct line to some sort of support.

      Now as for social media sights...well that is a whole other can of worms. The only way I see a

  • I thought Google+ stopped requiring real names a while ago?

    Once I heard they had stopped this requirement I reopened my G+ account. I've hardly used it, but haven't had any problems with it being suspended.

    I wonder if this user's account was hacked and the hackers decided to stir up some shit? Though he'd probably notice this if it were the case.

    Either way, I've not used G+ very much. After the whole real name debacle last year, it just felt like a less friendly place.

    • by pavon (30274) on Friday August 03, 2012 @11:53AM (#40868887)

      No, still they require real names, unless you are already widely known by an established alias.

      • by ZorinLynx (31751)

        Ahh, that would probably explain it. I've been Zorin since 1995 at least.

        But that kind of sucks too, because it means someone can't *start* a new alias on G+.

        • Ahh, that would probably explain it. I've been Zorin since 1995 at least.

          More likely it's just that no one has reported your account. There are probably some automated filters that look for really obvious fake names, but Zorin is a real name, though typically a surname. "Zorin Lynx" is obviously a pseudonym, but one that isn't likely to be flagged by an automated check. I suspect that if someone reported your account you'd have to send Google some documentation proving it's a well-established and well-known alias (and you might be unsuccessful).

          Personally, I can see both sides of this debate. It appears that real name policies actually do improve the S/N ratio significantly, which makes for a better user experience. On the other hand, pseudonymity is important to some people. It will be interesting to see if the real names push on YouTube is successful at cleaning up a large portion of the crapflood which is the typical YouTube comment stream.

  • Perhaps they used Google to search for the Bing website?

  • If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

  • by Kimomaru (2579489) on Friday August 03, 2012 @11:53AM (#40868885)
    This has been building for a while and I've been thinking of not using their services for anything important anymore. I think, overall, that using any "ecosystem" is a terrible mistake. I got locked out of my Google account a few months ago and found it very difficult to get access to my docs. Maybe this ecosystem stuff has just run its course, we're living on other people's networks too much and need to start installing and maintaining our our postfix servers agains. I might start on it this weekend. And, yes, requiring real names is a mistake. Sometimes people need to ask "dumb" questions and not look bad in a Google search.
    • I think, overall, that using any "cloud" is a terrible mistake.

      There. Fixed that for you.

    • I want to as well, but I haven't build a network to do so. I just get tired of having my data harvested and displayed. Images uses to be anonymous, now I find my Picasa Web pics are googlable with my *name*. Other annoyances like a strong suspicion that my mail is being parsed for advertising profilers.

  • by Meneth (872868) on Friday August 03, 2012 @11:55AM (#40868933)

    Yet another example of how centralized systems are bad.

    Social networks, torrent indexes, search engines, you name it. All of them censored and/or unreliable.

    We need decentralization.

    • by Kergan (780543)

      Yet another example of how centralized systems are bad.

      Social networks, torrent indexes, search engines, you name it. All of them censored and/or unreliable.

      We need decentralization.

      You must be meaning outsourced services/software as a service. There's nothing inherently wrong with centralizing your data, as long as you're not subjecting yourself to the moodiness of a handful of service providers.

  • Step 1. Post links sure to get your self banned on G+
    2. Don't actually attempt to contact anyone at G+ about your account; simply click "recheck link on profile"
    3. Post on Slashdot notice of your banning - make sure to state you didn't break the rules ever, except for those times you did.
    4. Tell visitors you didn't miss G+; but you still feel its worth wasting their time by having them read about your lack of missingness of G+

    Yes, I just coined the term "missingness" when items aren't simply missing; but th

  • “Do not meddle in the affairs of the Google, for it is not subtle and quick to anger.”

  • Google nailed me (Score:5, Informative)

    by patchouly (1755506) on Friday August 03, 2012 @12:07PM (#40869093) Homepage
    A few years back, I set up a Google banner on a forum I run. After my income reached the $100 minimum for payout, it was mysteriously closed down for "illegal clicks". I offered to provide all of my log files as proof there was no illegal activity or repeat clicks but they wouldn't hear it. There is no way to contact them other than email. No phone number. They did not respond to any of my emails. The account is still suspended, to this day. If they decide you are cut off, whether right or wrong, you are gone...permanently. Google sucks.
  • Google has a real name policy on Google+. However, Dan Tynan's profile wasn't using his real name. He was on G+ as Dan Tynan, whereas if you go to Wikipedia, you can see that his real name is Daniel Tynan.

    Q.E.D. :)

    (in all seriousness, I wouldn't be surprised if it was something as pedantic as this!)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 03, 2012 @12:08PM (#40869111)

    I just don't post anything on my google+ account ever. If my google account was suspended i'd lose email, docs, drive, calendar etc.

    Its too dangerous to use. Why risk it. F**k google+

    • by cheros (223479)

      If my google account was suspended i'd lose email, docs, drive, calendar etc.

      Have you ever heard of
      - single point of failure
      - making offline backups?

      There is no way I would ever rely on an online provider for such services - let alone from the privacy risk..

      • Welcome to why I actually pay $2/month for a NetSol email account at my own domain, and I retrieve said email onto my actual machine.
    • by hawguy (1600213)

      I just don't post anything on my google+ account ever. If my google account was suspended i'd lose email, docs, drive, calendar etc.

      Its too dangerous to use. Why risk it. F**k google+

      Me too, this is why I've never used Google+ -- after reading stories about people that have had all of their Google services do to violating some unwritten policy on Google+ without any warning or explanation, I've stayed away from Google+.

      Facebook could delete my account and I wouldn't notice for weeks, but I count on Google services everyday, and though I have workarounds for most things, it would be severely inconvenient. Not worth the risk.

      They need to be more clear on what the policy is for Google+ sus

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Bullshit and you know it. If your G+ account is suspended, you only loose G+. You still have access to email, drive, calendar and all the other services.

  • Problem of Free (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DaMattster (977781) on Friday August 03, 2012 @12:08PM (#40869115)
    This is the problem with freely offered services. You can be subject to an incredibly arbitrary policy. It might make sense to pay a small monthly fee, therefore you have some true legal recourse.
    • by ToriaUru (750485)
      I had the same thing happen to me on Google+. I think it's because someone marked it as hate speech.
  • by Animats (122034)

    Why would you have an account on Google? Their search works fine without it. Their video streaming works fine without it. If your ISP has an IMAP server and maybe some form of webmail for emergencies, that takes care of mail. None of their other services are worth much.

    • by Hillgiant (916436)

      I change ISPs fairly often and wanted a stable email address. Of the available free email providers, gmail offered the best service/features.

  • it's amusing how personally people take these things. I'm sure Google has millions of accounts, many of them fake, and they cannot commit great amounts of personal attention to investigate each one. So many likely get lumped in with some sort of an anti-spam or anti-abuse system. And do you figure Google can personally respond to each and every request for clarification? I dunno, people are just so personally tied to these online entities of themselves that they expect an equally personal treatment, but

  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Friday August 03, 2012 @01:01PM (#40869863)
    Personally, I think anybody who uses Google+ as part of their way of doing business has a screw loose.

    You are putting your business at the mercy of an organization that has proven itself to be capricious, if not malicious. Not to mention their downtime. This is just more proof.

    Get a clue.
  • by l0ungeb0y (442022) on Friday August 03, 2012 @01:10PM (#40869965) Homepage Journal

    Once again Slashdot links to a woefully inadequate article that only details one side of the story as a blatant attack on whatever service the author decides to pull out of his ass.

    If you could anyone could actually be bothered to take a few minutes to find more informative articles, you'll come across Google's Official response:

    "Google tries to provide a World-Class Social Networking Service. In order to meet the high standards of our users, we must be diligent in monitoring the behavior of our users to identify and block parties that may be a threat to the enjoyment of our site and safety to other users. In this case we saw that this particular user was using Google+ far too much, essentially using it for more than 5 minutes a day, which is a big red flag, since everyone knows that no one uses Google+ for anything. As such, he was blocked for being a spam bot. However, since receiving his butt-hurt email, we have reinstated his account, since spam-bots are incapable of getting their jimmies rustled."

  • by guttentag (313541) on Friday August 03, 2012 @01:12PM (#40869987) Journal
    Consider how many people are served by Google's services. Gmail alone has approximately 425 million users, the vast majority of whom pay no money for the service. Despite what they may think, they are not "customers," they are a "resource." Google's customers are the advertisers who want access to Google's resource. Therefore it is reasonable to expect that Google has staff devoted to answer the questions of its customers, but not the people who make up its resource. It could not afford to pay a support staff to be available to speak/write to each of those people on-demand, so it doesn't. Similar large, non-paid services are the same.

    In fact, years ago when I was paying Yahoo for Web hosting and mysteriously lost access to my account, a Yahoo CSR told me I wasn't paying enough money for the privilege of talking to someone and hung up on me after I listened to hold music for three hours. I got an email form letter three days later telling me there was nothing they could do. And that was for a paid service. I was a little fish in a big pond. With non-paid services, you're not even a little fish. You're a speck of bacteria living on the algae in the pond. That's not to say that these services are bad, but you have to understand what they are, who you are to them and gauge the risks before you invest too much in them.
  • by jopet (538074) on Friday August 03, 2012 @02:40PM (#40871175) Journal

    If you, like me, disapprove of the way how Google deals with that matter, tell them! Send them your opinion as feedback. Rate down this page - http://support.google.com/plus/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1228271 [google.com] - and click "the solution is not ideal". Comment on posts of Google employees.

    As long this is just a matter that affects a couple dozen people amont millions, Google won't give a shit, but if a large group of people complains, they will have start to start moving their asses.

    So, it is the same effort but the effect will be bigger if you post/address Google instead of the Slashdot forums.

  • by fm6 (162816) on Friday August 03, 2012 @06:51PM (#40873819) Homepage Journal

    Nobody ever thinks of themselves as evil, except in the movies.

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.

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