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.
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.
Now read this.