Saturday, September 29, 2012

Google loves me. It loves me not. It loves me . . .

Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 4:54 AM

The Google+ Team sends an e-mail informing me that their system has determined that Botgirl Questi may not be a real name. I have four days to appeal before they shut off my profile-related services such as Google Reader and YouTube.

Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 10:ish AM

I follow the supplied link and list half a dozen online references to validate my identity, including Twitter (2500 followers), Vimeo (18,000 plays in the past year) and my e-book on Amazon.

Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 1:50 PM

The Google+ Team sends an email denying my appeal:
After reviewing your appeal, we have determined that your name does not comply with the Google+ Names Policy. 
We want users to be able to find each other using the name they already use with their friends, family, and coworkers. For most people this is their legal name, or some variant of it, but we recognize that this isn't always the case, and we allow for other common names in Google+ --- specifically, those that represent an individual with an established online identity with a meaningful following. If you haven't already done so, you can provide us with additional information regarding an established identity by re-submitting an appeal that includes references to where you are known by this name either in online or offline settings. 
Note that if you're trying to set up a page for a business, band, group, or other organization, please sign up with your own name and then create a Google+ Page. If you're trying to add an alternate name (such as a nickname, maiden name or name in another script), please sign up with your full name; you can add this alternate name (which will appear alongside your full name) once you've signed up. 
You may re-appeal with additional information, if you have not already done so. If you're already using Google+, your current name will continue to be used. 
The Google+ team

Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Without any additional action on my part, the Google+ Team sends an email accepting my appeal:
Thanks for sending us your appeal. You're right: your name does comply with the Google+ Names Policy. Your name has been updated on your Google+ profile. If you submitted the appeal during sign up, your profile has now been restored. Log in to Google+. 
Sorry for the inconvenience,
The Google+ team.
So what happened?

It turns out, my situation came to the attention of Yonatan Zunger, Chief Architect for Google+, who wrote:
So looking through the records, I can't find any record that +Botgirl Questi ever did go through the names appeal process prior to this -- but she did now, and we all agree, she should definitely be approved. Done.
I'm grateful for the intervention and happy to see that Google now accepts the validity of existing virtual identities. But I'm troubled that it took the intervention of a high-level Google+ employee to turn around their initial rejection. How many people with equally valid virtual identities get rejected by Google's standard process and end up having Google services shut off?

By the way, I posted a copy of my Aug. 2011 appeal email and Yonatan acknowledged,
Looks like we had a bug in the system that makes sure you don't get reviewed twice. We're working on a fix now.
More than a year after the initial nymwars controversy, progress has been made but work still needs to be done. To paraphrase Dr. King, hopefully one day we will live in a virtual world where we will not be judged by the normality of our name, but by the content of our character, as expressed through our interactions.

I'll leave you with this parody song I put together last year in the heat of the nymwars:

Take Me Down (Little Google) from Botgirl Questi on Vimeo.


Dale Innis said...

Myself, I am astounded that they are still on this "we shall determine whose names are good enough to use" schtick. I guess everyone that can stand it is using g+, and everyone who thinks it's just too asinine (like me), is choosing not to.

I do have a g+ account (I think), but if they were to decide my name isn't real enough, and kick me off tomorrow, I don't think I'd really notice.

Wizzy Gynoid said...

nonetheless, welcome back.
personally, i don't think the heat of the Nymwars has let up any.

Miro said...

I don't think I'm going to even bother trying. Not worth the hastle if they decide I don't meet their criteria.

Same thing with FB, though in that case, I have TONS of other reason to want no part of it.

Ari Blackthorne™ said...

Wait, people actually still, no, wait - WANT to use Google+ ? I'm dumfounded.

Well, I created an account under a Nym - it's still there. But I guess if you don;t actually use it, it doesn;t matter to the Googler Gods. A co-worker did the same under a ridiculously obvious nym (Bashful Pixie) - she says it's still up and running.

Go figure.

Botgirl Questi said...

Dale, the tricky thing about Google is the connection between the various Google services. So there could be an impact on your Google Docs, Google Reader or other accounts that you may actually use.

Botgirl Questi said...

Wizzy, Thanks. i agree. It seems like Facebook has actually been stepping up their proactive nym extermination campaign recently.

Botgirl Questi said...

Miro, I hear you. Like I mentioned in my comment to Dale, the trouble come in the connection of your profile to other Google services.

sororNishi said...

Such an excellent video.
Welcome back (as they say on TV after the you went anywhere...)...

Nyms Rule!