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Written on July 20th, 2011 by | 26 Comments

Open Letter to Google+ Part 2: Let’s Get Serious Shall We

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Open Letter to Google+ Part 2: Let’s Get Serious Shall We

This post is a follow-up to my somewhat long and sarcastic post that I made yesterday over the controversial “community standards” for using Google+.

The reason the post was long is I wanted to document it as best I can, and to add a little humour (hopefully) to what has become a very frustrating and serious issue.

Not only for myself but for ALL of us because this is not just about BLOGBloke. It is a much broader issue over US being able to use social media and keep our privacy if we so choose.

The Abbreviated Version:

In a nutshell, this is what is going on. Google is refusing to let me on Google+ unless I provide my real pic and name, which I cannot do for security reasons as stated in yesterday’s post. So as it now stands I’m basically screwed.

Google’s “community standards” policy does not have a provision for people like myself who have a legitimate reason to require privacy, and to use a pseudonym and/or avatar in lieu of a real pic and name. Their policy(s) are also contradictory and confusing to say the least.

Google’s only alternative it seems is to wait for business/entity profiles later this year. BUT I’m sure they will charge for that and still insist on a name, ID and/or business registration as well. So we’re back to square one.

I don’t make money off my blog and I am not a business or an entity. I’m just a person who has a legitimate reason for requiring security/privacy, and it seems me people such as myself should be able to use social media like anybody else.

Accordingly, security conscious people such as myself have fallen through the cracks and cannot use Google+.

Also, their “reconsideration” form has no text box to plead our case for extenuating circumstances. It’s impossible to get a hold of a live person and the process is a complete joke and waste of time. It’s either Google’s way or the highway.

In fact the whole process appeared automated and if anybody can be accused of being an “entity” I would say it is Google, not me.

The form demanded my cell phone number to verify, which I did, and yet Google still won’t let me on. There was also an “option” for uploading ID which I passed on.

I’m not giving out my driver’s license just to use a social network. That’s completely unreasonable and nuts in my opinion.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who is in this situation and clearly Google needs to broaden (or loosen) it’s draconian policy with respect to Google+ profiles and “community standards”.Google also needs to allow people to explain their situation and make decisions on a case by case basis with a live person. Not a bot. I think that is reasonable, but apparently Google does not and shows no willingness to make an exception.

Add to the mix Google’s apparent favoritism towards blogs such as Mashable and TechCrunch and you’ve got yourself a real mess.

In a Nutshell:

It all comes down to this. Google insists on our private information for its marketing and is not willing to make exceptions. Anything else they say is just an excuse and smoke and mirrors.

It seems to me that is a form of blackmail to force us to give up our privacy just to use social media. That is the trend that Facebook first started and Google is following the pied piper.

That is just plain WRONG.

Google: Good or Evil?As you can see this represents a much broader and important issue with respect to our online privacy, and we need to get the word out.

It has to stop now or they will continue this trend until eventually we will have no more privacy on the web … whatsoever.

So let’s get serious Google. You can’t and you won’t get away with this. Sooner or later you are going to have to change your policy.

We can do this the easy way or the hard way. Which is it going to be?

Don’t be evil. Do what is right .. not what is expedient.

UPDATE 07-21-11: As you can see I am not the only one who is affected by this. So who will be next to join the bandwagon? Twitter perhaps I hope you realize this is a serious attack on our privacy and if we don’t do something about it now we will find ourselves no longer having that right. This is the most serious attack on online privacy EVER, and it’s only just the beginning. Make your stand now folks or it will be too late.

UPDATE 02-2012:  Disqus says people using pseudonyms post the highest-quality comments.

Now read this.

Filed under: Blog Tips, Featured Articles, Privacy Tips, Security Tips Google, google plus

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There are 26 Comments so far to “Open Letter to Google+ Part 2: Let’s Get Serious Shall We”

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  1. That’s messed up Bloke. If I didn’t have an android phone I would just delete my account. But they have me two ways from Sunday and they know it.

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 5:26 pm said...

    @Curtis, I have an android phone too but it’s rooted and I have more control over who get’s what.

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  2. I had created a post on Google+ about what was happening to you and a very very nice person has been giving his view point, including links for me to show who and what others are going through…. you are indeed not alone in this. His last comment to me says in part “The thing is, we have to do this together. It is, after all, our social network.”
    I have also heard, but so far I can not seem to find it…that there might be a petition going around regarding this issue, but it is food for thought in getting Google’s attention.

    Another update… Mashable and other business accounts have been kicked off Google+, they don’t seem to be happy for some reason…sorry I am not feeling sorry for them!

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 5:41 pm said...

    @Diane (blogneta), can you give me the links please?

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    Reply by: Diane (blogneta) at 5:46 pm said...

    @BLOGBloke,

    Did a copy and paste….
    More:
    1. http://goo.gl/srNMO
    2. http://goo.gl/VxNrs
    3 .http://goo.gl/YmLc6

    1. Pseudonymous profile rejected. Went to have a name change. (Extreme)
    2. Reasons why people use pseudonyms
    3. Media profiles taken down

    and then I found this:

    http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2011/07/08/google-seemingly-split-on-pseudonymous-google-accounts-and-google-profiles-its-okay-until-it-isnt/

    and then I found this Youtube video

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbsNA3Vr8rQ

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 5:52 pm said...

    @Diane (blogneta), thanks. Do you have the links regarding Mashable et al?

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    Reply by: Diane (blogneta) at 6:00 pm said...

    @BLOGBloke, not anymore and as usual things change so fast. I can say that +mashable news is now listed under Pete Cashmore. There was a story about it…but now I can’t see it, I guess it disappeared… sorry.

    There is this post by Pete Cashmore https://plus.google.com/101849747879612982297/posts/JdSRqzze3Qx

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 6:10 pm said...

    @Diane (blogneta), consider the hypocrisy. Google+ insists on a REAL identity but we can’t talk to a REAL person at Google. So who’s the more REAL? https://twitter.com/#!/BLOGBloke/status/94212205595197440

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  3. If Gooogle doesn’t back down soon, the next step will be the courts and/or the authorities.

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    Reply by: Diane (blogneta) at 6:18 pm said...

    @BLOGBloke, before that step, what about a petition? sometimes it has been known to work and work well, because of the publicity being put on the “offending” company etc.?

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 6:35 pm said...

    @Diane (blogneta), go ahead. I’ll sign it.

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    Reply by: Diane (blogneta) at 6:38 pm said...

    @BLOGBloke, I have been looking at different ways of doing a petition …the issue would be a) the wording and b( getting it out there where it would get noted never mind signed.) I have never done this before and while I am not afraid to do it, I don’t want this done in a shoddy manner

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 6:46 pm said...

    @Diane (blogneta), advocacy is more up my alley. Know what’s really shameful? I’ve lost twitter followers over this. Tells you a lot doesn’t it?

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    Reply by: Diane (blogneta) at 7:17 pm said...

    @BLOGBloke, it says a lot and I am sorry to hear this, I really am… not sure if I want to know how many.

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 10:02 pm said...

    @Diane (blogneta), I’m officially calling this coup d’état Schmooglegate. https://twitter.com/BLOGBloke/status/94264618192609280

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  4. Well I will only repeat what you already say: just keep on blogging, Bloke. Keep on blogging on your on domain name.

    You control your own privacy - you build your own community.

    Google+ & Facebook, were supposed to be tools but instead, they have their own ideas.

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    Reply by: BLOGBloke at 7:10 pm said...

    @Jaffer, you mean they have their own “agenda”. But when the major cloud app (Google) rigs the system that’s when things get really ugly.

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  5. An Open Letter to Google+ Part 2: Let’s Get Serious Shall We http://t.co/pHGvMtj via @BLOGBloke

  6. An Open Letter to Google+ Part 2: Let’s Get Serious Shall We http://eqent.me/pD9Gwx

  7. RT @blogbloke: An Open Letter to Google+ Part 2: Let’s Get Serious Shall We http://t.co/pHGvMtj via @BLOGBloke

  8. RT @blogbloke: An Open Letter to Google+ Part 2: Let’s Get Serious Shall We http://t.co/pHGvMtj via @BLOGBloke

  9. UPDATED: Open Letter to Google+ Part 2: Let’s Get Serious Shall We http://t.co/pHGvMtj via @BLOGBloke

  10. http://t.co/yw8J2eh not everybody is loving #G+

  11. http://t.co/yw8J2eh not everybody is loving #G+

  12. Earth to Google: I'm a REAL Person, NOT an Entity. Just an ordinary guy who appreciates his RIGHT to privacy http://t.co/pHGvMtj #googleplus

  13. RT @BLOGBloke: I'm a REAL Person, NOT an Entity. Just an ordinary guy who appreciates his RIGHT to privacy http://t.co/pHGvMtj #googleplus

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