Google+: You’re Doing it WRONG
Google+ is a great idea, but will draconian rules about identity cause the giant to fail? Given the angry messages from victims of the recent account suspensions that Google are making, it looks like they might be killing their service just as it starts to get going. Feelings are hurt, groups are alienated, and circles of friends are being decimated by seemingly draconian account suspensions. This is my current (at time of publishing) Google+ status:
“Every time Google+ suspends an account of someone I follow, it becomes less useful to me. I don’t want a telephone system with knobs on, I want a social platform where I can interact with the people that matter to me.
Not every person in the world is a white, westernised Christian with a first name and a last name. Some people only have ONE name. Some people have multiple names – which one should they use? What about people who use their stage name, or writers and artists that have a name that isn’t their birth name, but is the name that they use in every day life?
Google, you are either being incredibly stupid, or incredibly draconian. Some people have very long and complicated names that I can’t remember, or can’t remember how to spell. And, lets not forget that I know more than one person with the same name. Not everyone has a meaningful photograph of themselves as their profile picture – how am I supposed to differentiate between people at a glance if you don’t let them add extra information about themselves in their name?
Take the example of Limor Fried’s account. It has been suspended even though it includes the name Limor Fried, and Ladyada, which is a legitimate name used by Limor on a daily basis.
A large number of people know me as Monkeysailor – yet I’m unable to connect with them on google+ because if I advertise myself as Monkeysailor then I risk getting my account suspended.
Google is a master at algorithmics, but how about you stop using algorithms and idiots to suspend accounts and start using your brains? Why not let users decide whether to mark an account as inappropriate, instead of just guessing?”
This sums up how I feel about the situation, and I’ll be voting with my feet and just leaving the Google+ sphere if things don’t improve in the near future.