Deleting my SL Google+ profile

This afternoon I had a rather shocking notice when I logged into my SL Google+ account. Sadly it seems Google found my SL Google+ profile today and issued a warning notice about being suspended on 27th August 2011 if I didn’t change my name. I joined Google+ back in early July 2011 and wanted to try something new out.

I made the decision to later on to delete my SL Google+ profile because I didn’t want to use my real name or send real photo ID to them etc. Another reason for deleting my SL G+ account today was due to the fact I don’t want to lose other Google services when suspended.

I may join at a later date on Google+ but overall I’m really disappointed that this happened today. But the problem about being invited and joining again in the near future is that I may be likely to be suspended again. Is it really worth investing time and effort into something that may be taken away later down the line?. I’m not sure! Google+ is evil until they drop the names policy!

In recent months there have been a number of SL resident profiles on Google+ that have either been suspended, deleted and reactivated. It’s completely out-of-order and really bad Google has this names policy in effect. The SL community has been kicked out of Google+ recently and everyone should think very carefully about joining/remaining with the Google+ project. Many will also know that Google+ has been suspending people with unusual names as well.

It’s been a sad day.

19 thoughts on “Deleting my SL Google+ profile

  1. I share your pain 😦 I just deleted my own Google Plus account and Google Profile, with much sadness about the loss, because Google+ is such a fantastic social networking tool.

    I had no warning (yet) from Google, but I was really afraid that I’d be kicked out of all of Google’s services. They say that they won’t do that, but I don’t trust them: when I signed up wit Google Plus, they wer quite tolerant about pseudonyms (even almost encouraging). Then, after two weeks, they changed their policy. Worse than that: we are supposed to be beta-testers on a new product. Why should we be banned from using their regular products because of a policy change for a beta product? This is completely insane — but even more so for a company that proclaims “not to do evil”.

    Unfortunately (I say “unfortunately” now…), I also use Google’s services for professional and business uses. I pay for some of them, and I earn a little money for others. Part of my company is run using Google Docs and Google Calendar. I’m a contributor and participant of a few projects using Google Code. I use Analytics on many clients’ websites to recommend changes. So, well, I cannot afford to be at the whim of a silly Google employee who might delete my account because of a policy that violates consumer rights, citizen rights, and basic human rights — the right to do business and express one’s opinion under whatever name we want (so long it’s not with criminal intentions).

    So, well, I had to leave Google Plus and Google Profiles before it was too late.


  2. I had my Google+ profile suspended over the name policy. I contested the suspension, supplying them with URL’s indicating that the name I used is my common name on the Internet at other social media and networking sites (e.g. LinkedIn) and exchanged email with the Google team member assigned to evaluate my suspension. My profile was reinstated and continues to function properly.

    Note that while my Google+ profile was suspended I did not explicitly lose other Google services like GMail but I was no longer able to “Share” items in my Google Reader feed since I think Google Buzz is tied to your profile.

    Perhaps you might want to contest your suspension. Or, maybe not.


  3. I’m so sorry that this happened to you, Daniel! I know that’s really frustrating.

    I don’t know that it helps, but I do half-wonder if Google+ is already beginning to die. Less than 10% of my friends post; I haven’t seen any updates to the UI since it launched, and there’s no official blog that I can find. It could yet go the way of Wave.

    I’m still praying hard that Diaspora actually sends me an invitation at some point, and, beyond that, makes it out of the gate.


    1. Diaspora is still processing my own request, so, by suggestion of another happy Diaspora user, I created an account at, which is a separate install but federated with Diaspora’s main server (like, apparently, every “trial” instance of Diaspora that I have found so far).

      My first shock was how absolutely similar this is to Google Plus! Considering that they have been in testing for almost a year, I have absolutely no doubt that this isn’t a coincidence. Google Plus is a clone of Diaspora. I even suspect that Google Plus is running Diaspora beneath the surface, in secret! (One reason for that suspicion is that Diaspora also doesn’t have a Developer’s API, and Google Plus still hasn’t released theirs, either) The differences are so slight that you need a looking glass to spot them; Google Plus could easily be called Diaspora Plus (in the sense that it ads a few slightly innovative changes to Diaspora, namely, the way the plus sign automatically loads someone else’s profile; on the other hand, Twitter-like hash tags already work fine in Diaspora).

      But the whole layout is the same. If you open Diaspora and Google Plus on two monitors, a friend looking over your shoulder casually wouldn’t spot the difference.

      Of course that the biggest difference is that Diaspora is not centralised, but federated — like email or the Web. So you set your policies on your own server (if you wish to run one) and just interconnect to all other Diaspora servers…


  4. @Nexii: I know. I may join in the near future but i’m not going to be with a service if Google continues to mess about with peoples accounts (i.e SL community).

    @Gwyneth: Thanks. *hugs*

    @Missy: At the moment no.

    @Garidin: Its starting to show decline and it’s a real shame.


    1. Botgirl’s doing a fantastic work with her protests, but I still think that Google is not going back on their policies. Why should they? There are only a few millions that get affected by them — and they want a billion users, the ones who couldn’t care less about privacy and pseudonymity.

      The only thing that might happen is that they don’t enforce their policies for the “more legitimate” cases (i.e. anyone who is not actively impersonating someone else, not spamming, and not doing anything outright illegal, even though they don’t have an ID card for their name). This is similar to what Linden Lab did in 2008 when they “threatened” to delete accounts of people who would violate their policies outside Second Life (i.e. posting grid-crashing scripts on third-party sites that everybody could copy). This raised a huge protest back then — in the sense that LL surely is allowed to control what goes on in their service, but it’s morally wrong to ostracise SL residents just because they post things that LL doesn’t like; there are courts of law to deal with those cases). LL didn’t really change their policies, they just don’t enforce them. Google might do something similar. But until that’s crystal clear with a signed statement by Larry Page that says “we will never ever apply our policies if all you do in Google Plus is legitimate and legal”, I won’t create my profile again, and will not use Google Plus.


      1. I agree with you that, at this point, Google probably won’t be going back on their policies.

        I think it will be to their detriment. I agree with you that they are targeting the folks who “couldn’t care less about privacy and pseudonymity,” but I think those folks are already on Facebook. I don’t use FB, but I know some who do, and they gave Google+ a round shrug. They said: “Why would I go over to Google+ when everybody I know is already on Facebook?” Since they don’t care about privacy on FB, they’re not going to care about it on Google+, and inertia will likely keep them right where they are.

        Thus, they’ve alienated a vocal percentage of their early adopters, and the middle ain’t moving. Unless they start shipping free chocolate with every G+ account activated, I don’t see a big migration to their “identity service.”


  5. @cre8tive: Thanks for sharing the link. I’ve been following that recently!

    @Gwyneth: Google+ need to sort out their policies. It looks like usage is falling and the things are starting to go down hill.


    1. Well, I humbly admit have another Google+ account which is under a completely different pseudonym 🙂 Since this one has almost no services associated with it — I use it for Email, but it actually reads from another mailbox, Gmail is used mostly for convenience and a backup — I can afford to have it deleted. It’s not associated with Second Life at all. My findings? After three months, the 1000+ contacts I have on other services under that pseudonym never made it to Google+. Just… one!

      This tends to reinforce the idea that Google+ is “mostly” used by geeks, technologists, evangelists, and marketeers. People from other kinds of environments, although they most certainly use services from Google, strangely don’t seem to find it worth using. Why? I have no idea. Perhaps because it’s not yet so closely integrated with all other Google services, and possibly things like Facebook, MySpace, Tagged, or Netlog allow content sharing more easily. I have no idea really. The truth is that the media, after a burst of encouragement and lots of articles about G+, seem to have started to ignore it.

      I subscribe to a few mailing lists with newsletters for online marketing and technology trends. Yes, most people would call it “spam”, and even though almost everything is worthless to read, sometimes I get a few interesting articles. During the first month of Google Plus, pretty much all newsletters spoke about Google Plus. During August, which is traditionally a slow month in the media, and thus it would make sense talking about whatever novelties could be found, those mailing lists strangely forgot all about Google Plus. The only thing mentioned was how “+1” was now better integrated with Google Plus (although you require a Google Profile to use it fully, which will exclude us all).

      Some of my friends have reported a decrease in usage as well after I’ve left. But that might also be because many of their contacts have SL avatar names; those that haven’t been deleted, or deleted themselves, are keeping quiet, possibly waiting to see if Google changes their policies. Thus, remaining silent is a good option to avoid attracting attention and escape Google’s watchful “deleters”! And that might also explain the recent slow traffic on G+.

      This is really just speculation. We’ll see what happens. I think that if Google finishes their API, this will mean a lot of developers will start creating fantastic things for Google Plus, and this might attract more attention. On the other hand, Diaspora is also working fast on their own API, so I guess the race is on!


  6. This really sucks. Such a fine service, ruined by total stupidity at the top. One of the top ‘most interesting’ people in the entire world IMHO, and they ban him. Stupid stupid, stupid.


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