Practical Technology

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Google revises Google+ real name management policy


Over the weekend, Google annoyed numerous one-time Google+ users by blowing away their accounts because they’d broken Google’s name restrictions. That went over well. As I asked at the time, “What was Google thinking!?” Google’s senior VP of social, Vic Gundotra, explained Google’s logic for insisting on real names, as an attempt to set a positive tone, “like when a restaurant doesn’t allow people who aren’t wearing shirts to enter.” Now, Bradley Horowitz, Google’s VP of Google+, stated on a Google+ post that Google will be changing its naming policies “as soon as possible. We’ve already improved our process, and the changes below should arrive in a matter of weeks.”

First, Horowitz apologized for how Google had been handling many of its Google+ users’ choice of names. “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. So we’re currently making a number of improvements to this process– specifically regarding how we notify these users that they’re not in compliance with Google+ policies and how we communicate the remedies available to them.“

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