January 23, 2022

Just In: "Google+ To Suspend Users Using Pseudonyms", If Suspended You'll Have Four Days to Make a Change

From a New Report by Ben Parr on Mashable:

Google+ has decided to ban the use of pseudonyms and nicknames in place of real names. In response to feedback though, users will not be immediately suspended for violating Google’s Common Names Policy.

The change comes weeks after Google came under fire for suspending countless accounts that violated its Common Names Policy. The policy, designed to fight spam and prevent the creation of fake profiles, suspended several high-profile users for using their commonly-known pseudonyms instead of their real names. It resulted in a firestorm of criticism and questions about potential safety issues.


[ Google+ Product Manager Saurabh] Sharma also announced a change though — instead of immediately suspending accounts in violation of the policy, the company will be giving users a four day grace period to fix their profile names before they’re suspended.

Full Report and a Link to a Video From Google+ Product Manager Saurabh Sharma here.

or Direct to Video (via YouTube)


1. If you create a Google account using a name other than your own  can Google determine that it’s not your name and suspend you? How can this be done without some intense data mining and even then it seems unlikely. Will you need to some then an affidavit. We don’t think that would be a popular (or good) idea. (-:

2. Don’t be surprised to see a lot of new Google accounts being created going forward.

3. On our personal Google+ accounts we continue to find new followers using company names. We thought they were not allowed? In other words, enforcement can be challenging.

4. Another issue is making sure that possible suspensions can be discussed fairly before the four day grace period ends and an account is suspended. Google is known for a lot of good things but their customer service is not one of them.

5. Alerting you that your account is about to be suspended and then having no one to discuss it with or more likely, someone (a human, not a machine) that will get back to you in time to have a discussion, could also be challenging given the number of potential volume of suspensions.

That’s a few of many questions about how is this going to work and if it can even work in the first place. The fact that this is happening (or needs to happen) is another issue.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.