Google+ and their “Tell us your real name, or else…” policy

So I haven’t posted for a while. Been very busy with other stuff but I just had to share what arrived in my Gmail Inbox this morning (see email pasted below). I don’t know whether to laugh or be worried about this. Who the bloody hell do they think they are, dictating what name I (or anyone) use on the internet?

Dear Google, once upon a time, when I was on my own with a baby, I had a big problem with a stalker. That taught me that I should never use my real name publicly. So I don’t. I couldn’t give a rat’s arse whether you like it or not. And if you don’t like it, you can shove your Google+ where the sun don’t shine — just make sure to insert the sharp end first!


Our system has determined that the name you provided on your Google+ profile Bev TheRaggedEdge may not actually be a name.

It may be that the name you provided is that of a business you represent. Or it may be that this is actually your name and our system made a mistake.

We have a few options for you:

  • if this is the name of a business, brand or other organisation, please sign in to your Google account and change the profile’s name to that of a representative of the organisation. You can then, while logged in to this profile, create a Google+ Page for the organisation. Pages are designed specifically with the needs of organisations in mind, while profiles are designed for individuals.
  • if this is your name, please sign in and follow the instructions to submit more information and help us fix our mistake.
  • if you want to change the name provided, please sign in and follow the instructions to edit your profile. You can also optionally add Bev TheRaggedEdge as a nickname, previous name or transliterated name in addition to your common name, if appropriate. Learn more
  • if none of the above options are appropriate and you use your Google+ identity on YouTube, you can unlink your Google+ profile from YouTube. This will ensure that regular YouTube access will continue but your Google+ profile will be suspended until you take one of the actions above. If you manage a brand channel, we will soon have a better option for creating a Google-wide identity.

If you don’t take one of these steps in the next 4 days, your Google+ profile will be suspended. While suspended, you will not be able to make full use of Google services that require an active profile, such as Google+, Reader, Picasa and YouTube (if you use your Google+ identity on YouTube). This will not prevent you from using other Google services, like Gmail.

We’re sorry for the inconvenience,

The Google+ Team.

7th March 2013 Update: Upon viewing a Youtube video this morning, I was ‘invited’ to re-link my Google+ ID to my Youtube account. Checked Google+ and the message advising that I would be kicked off has disappeared. So that’s it… Google has officially named me as ‘Bev.theraggededge’. I have a few alternative names for Google an’ all.

~ by theraggededge on March 6, 2013.

2 Responses to “Google+ and their “Tell us your real name, or else…” policy”

  1. What!! This seems a tad OTT. If they need real names (so they can track down the bad guys) then their email should be giving this as a reason, but I don’t know how this helps track down anyone, because you could use a false name!

    • Isn’t it crazy!? I already linked my other profile pages (places where I write under ‘theraggededge’), so it’s not as though I haven’t built up an ID with that name. Have submitted appeal so we’ll see what happens.

      The reason why they are doing it, is so they can build up a complete profile about the individual and their contacts, in order to increase their marketing capabilities. Some people say Google has other, more sinister intentions but time will tell.

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