Google pulls back on heavy-handed Google+ name policy

Google says it will no longer disable accounts for violating its name policy -- without warning them, first.

In an effort to stave off criticism over its "real names" policy, Google said late Monday that it will stop disabling Google+ accounts that violate the policy -- without warning the user first.

Some Google+ users who recently found their accounts disabled because of the policy criticized the search company for being too heavy handed. Others argue that a level of anonymity should be afforded to users for a variety of reasons, including personal, work-related, or even political.

Google's Bradley Horowitz shared the company's new policy on real names in a Google+ post on Monday night. "We've noticed that many violations of the Google+ common name policy were in fact well-intentioned and inadvertent and for these users our process can be frustrating and disappointing," he admitted.

With the next update to Google+, accounts would no longer be disabled for violations of the policy. Instead, Google would send a warning to the user giving him or her time to fix the issue before the company suspends the account. It would also change the signup process to alert users to possible name issues right away.

Horowitz added that the company noted that users edit their profiles to make the name show a nickname, maiden name, or personal description. He asked that users move these names to the "Other Names" field of the profile, where they will still be searchable.

Those with suspended Google+ profiles should know that only Google services that require a Plus profile will be inaccessible, while services that don't -- Gmail, Blogger, Docs, and so on -- will still work.

"We'll keep working to get better, and we appreciate the feedback-- and the passion --that Google+ has generated," Horowitz wrote.

I still don't think this change fully addresses the issue. Like my colleague Sarah Jacobsson Purewal argued earlier Tuesday, there are many valid reasons for why somebody wouldn't want to reveal their true identity on Google+, or any other social network for that matter.

If these folks are not doing anything illegal, or using the account maliciously, why should Google care at all? What's the purpose? I'm not seeing one.

For more tech news and commentary, follow Ed on Twitter at @edoswald and on Facebook.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesGoogleonline privacyGoogle+social mediainternet

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ed Oswald

PC World (US online)

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?