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Google Restores Legit Google+ Accounts Thought To Be Fakes

July 26, 2021 | Matt Tran

Since its launch a little under a month ago, Google+ has been nothing short of a resounding success. All of the buzz has been about Google’s new social network which groups you and your friends together in circles and keeps you close and connected. So 1 month and over 20 million users later, complaints have been starting to surface about people’s accounts being deleted.

What has been happening is that Google have been suspending and removing accounts from the site which they believe are fakes. Many legitimate accounts that people have made have become unavailable, much to their anger. According to Ben Parr writing on Mashable, Google has replied to this by saying that they are trying to enforce the company’s “common name” policy. This is outlined in section 13 of the Google’s User Content and Conduct Policy.

The general idea behind the policy is to prevent the creation of fake accounts and spamming. Google has encouraged users to use their personal name that family, friends and co-workers would call you. The example they have given is if for example your full legal name is Charles Jones Jr., but people call you Chuck Jones or Junior Jones, you should use the personalized names on your Google+ account. It is the theory that a real person will use a casual personal name but a fake account would use a formal long winded name.

Over the weekend, Google accidentally deleted some legitimate accounts such as “A.V. Flox” and “Limor Ladyada Fried”. They quickly restored them to the site upon learning they were not fakes, notice they are not typical names so Google may think they are phoneys when following their policy. The company has since announced that in their attempts to crack down on fake profiles, mistakes have been made and improvements will be coming. A verification system is also said to been in the works.

A Google spokesman admitted that many legitimate Google Plus users had inadvertently violated Google’s common name policy. Despite these people being well intentioned, they were singled out by the policy and had their accounts disabled which obviously led to frustration and disappointment. Google VP of Product Bradley Horowitz has now confirmed that changes will be made to notify users when they are not in compliance with policies, and how they can remedy these.

Google has stated that they intend to implement improvements to the sign up process, more warning about being in or out of compliance with policies and also more support for maiden names, nicknames and pseudonyms. The Google official also confirmed that the disabling of their Plus account will not automatically trigger a ban from other services like Gmail. It looks like Google have managed to sweep the controversial account deleting under the carpet for now but is it a matter of time before they are criticized for something else?

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