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Google Plus (aka Google+ or G+) is a social networking service created and operated by Google. As of July 2011, it is still in beta and invitation-only.

Pseudonym Dispute

The G+ policy of requiring users to use only the name they are "commonly known by" has been the source of a large number of user complaints for the following reasons:

  • Google's enforcement of this policy has been somewhat arbitrary.
  • Google's enforcement of this policy has not always been consistent with the actual policy. The policy says "commonly known by", but enforcers seem to be interpreting this to mean "legal name"... unless that name sounds too unusual (to their ears) to be a "real" name.
  • There does not appear to be a formal appeal process.
  • Towards enforcement of the policy on G+, Google often cut users off from access to other Google services such as Gmail.
  • Many users are known better by their online handles than by their legal names.
  • Many users have valid reasons not to use their legal names in public or semi-public spaces online, ranging from personal protection to aesthetic preference.
  • It is not clear what the purpose of this policy is, as Google's explanations so far have not correlated with reality.




  • 2014-06-09 [L..T] Thanks for nothing, jerkface "In case you missed it, Google CEO Sergey Brin publicly admitted last week that Google+ was "a mistake" for him – one month after the man he hired to run the social network, Vic Gundotra, left the company without explanation."
  • 2011-07-27 [L..T] Why it Matters: Google+ and Diversity Just a few days before Google+'s doors officially open on July 31, Google's latest communications from Vic (via Robert) and Bradley on the raft of account suspensions and “common names” policy seem unlikely to put the “identity crisis” to rest. It's certainly a positive sign that they're engaging, and process changes like giving people with names Google doesn't like a week to change their account name before suspending them are certainly improvements. That said, the impression they're giving is that they're going to try to hold the line with the current policy even knowing that it targets transgender people, human rights activists, people at risk for stalking and harrassment domestic violence survivors, HIV/AIDS victims and caregivers, people with names that sound weird to Americans (or for that matter people in Hong Kong who would rather go by their English names)..."
  • 2011-07-26T12:00:00 [L..T] Fraudsters Already Exploiting Google+ It was inevitable. With the creation of Google+, a new social network already boasting over 20 million users, the scammers were sure to follow. Here's a note a probable fraudster sent to reader Geoff through his Google+ profile, informing him that someone died in Africa and he needs to be contacted about a "business transaction" of "magnitude."
  • 2011-07-03T20:50:00 [L..T] Google made my son cry