0 28 Jul, 2011
In Business, Social Media Optimization Tags:

Recently, not only the majority of business accounts , but also some personal Google plus accounts are audited which appears to be a suspended phenomenon. I believe that, in most cases, it’s triggered by the inconsistency between the user name/ Google private and Google+’s community criteria.

Google does not force users to use their real names, but , to some extent, the user name must comply with Google’s relevant guidelines.

Real-name authentication is not implemented

Google + hasn’t taken up any practical implementation of real-name authentication, therefore, a lot of network marketers pretend to be celebrities and use their names to register accounts due to the lack of restriction.

For instance, Ma Ying-jeou(ÂíÓ¢¾Å), the 12th term and current President of the Republic of China, was trapped because someone registered a Google+ Account using the name as ‘President Ma Ying-jeo’, and then manually sync Ma Ying-jeou’s Facebook information to Google+. Soon afterwards, Google+ team banned this account. And perhaps for security considerations and to put an end to the recurrence of this kind of events, the real President Ma sighed in an account immediately.

In the foreseeable future, Google may imitate Twitter launching real-name authentication mechanism, which will enable users to distinguish the real celebrities from the fakes. It will definitely strengthen the validity of the information resources and protect the reputation of the celebrities as well.

Google’ s Policy

Google does not force users to use their real names, but users need to meet certain rules written in the Google+ “User Content and Conduct Policy“:

To help fight spam and prevent fake profiles, use the name your friends, family or co-workers usually call you. For example, if your full legal name is Charles Jones Jr. but you normally use Chuck Jones or Junior Jones, either of those would be acceptable.

The more detailed description of the Google+ policy, check ‘Your name and Google Profiles’:

Use your full first and last name in a single language.

If you use your full name, you’ll help people find you online and connect with the right person. Note that professional titles such as “Dr.” or “Prof.” aren’t allowed in the first or last name fields. If you’re referred to by more than one name, just choose one, and place the others in the “Other names” section of your profile.

Avoid unusual characters in your name.

When you create your profile, our system will check the name you submitted for unusual characteristics. For example, numbers, symbols, or obscure punctuation might not be allowed.

Your profile and name must represent one person.

Google Profiles doesn’t support profiles for couples or groups of people. Additionally, you can’t create a profile for a non-person entity such as a pet or business. Google may continue to allow existing profiles that don’t meet these criteria, as long as the profile names are unchanged.

Don’t use the name of another individual.

Impersonation is a serious issue. Pretending to be someone else could cause your profile to be deleted. If someone is pretending to be you, go to their profile and click Report this person.’

In short, user-name strategy is to: 1) Do not mix the name with several different languages; 2) Do not use non-personal accounts (such as business accounts, web accounts, news accounts, etc.); 3) Do not impersonate another person.

From here you can see, Google + does not force users to use their real names, but users should use their usual name, if the user profile is suspended, that means the user name is inconformity with Google Policy, Then the user will receive a notification to review the profile.

Users can click on the Google profile page contact us, put forward further appeal applications, in most cases can get a response within 24 hours after filling the form. It’s not necessary to fill out the real name, common nick name or screen name can be accepted. But if it is commonly used screen name, you need to fill out the complaint form with sites profile page URL corresponding to Twitter, Facebook or other social networking sites.

The user can edit their names or personal information even the user’s personal profile is suspended. But, if users edit their own profiles under the suspended status, Google team still need to review the user’s name, and then re-activate the user’s personal information.


In my opinion, it is controversial for Google team sticking to their policy under the current situation of Google+. If the user name does not meet the policy, Google should set limit during registering, rather than banning the accounts suddenly after a long period’s experience, which can be destructive to the user experience.

Even if Google+ determined to suspend the user account, it’s better to contact the user first and give them some time to amend the profile to meet the policy of Google, rather than give a red card directly without any notification.

It’s maybe a little difficult for the Googlers who are mostly engaged in engineering to understand how important the user experience and hommization design are in SNS. In all probability, that can be a large stumbling block if Google+ really want to challenge the supremacy of Facebook and Twitter in social network field.

And someone also pointed out the potential harm to the users in community caused by real-name policy:

  1. Online and offline harassment.
  2. Employment and service discrimination.
  3. The reality of physical threats.
  4. Arrest, imprisonment or judicial control.
  5. The economic harm, such as job loss, loss of professional reputation and so on.

In general, in the process of creating an account, the name should be in line with Google’s policy to avoid personal account banned by Google.

if Google user’s personal account was suspended or deleted, the user will not only be unable to use Google+ community, but also impossible to use other Google products such as Buzz and Google +1 which are all personal-information-required. However, users of Gmail and Blogger accounts are not affected by this restriction.

Reference: http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2011/07/22/spat-of-the-day-google-removes-business-profiles/





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