Today, two weeks since I was first suspended from Google+ and just over a week since I was blackholed in their so-called customer support system, I submitted a fresh request for review via the form linked on my suspended profile page.
The name I was using: Kirrily “Skud” Robert
Evidence I provided: links to about a dozen websites calling me by that name, or simply by “Skud”, including GitHub, Wikipedia, Ohloh, the Geek Feminism blog, and LinkedIn (which has the Kirrily “Skud” Robert variant). I also linked a news article in Wired that referred to me as Skud.
Just a few minutes after I submitted the form, I got this from Neil @ Google Profiles Support, along with a shiny new ticket number:
Thank you for contacting us with regard to our review of the name you are trying to use in your Google Profile. After review of your appeal, we have determined that the name you want to use violates our Community Standards. Please avoid the use of any unusual characters. For example, numbers, symbols, or obscure punctuation might not be allowed.
You can review our name guidelines at http://www.google.com/support/+/bin/answer.py?answer=1228271
If you edit your name to comply with our policies in the future, please respond to this email so that we can re-review your profile.
The Google Profiles Support Team
I replied with:
I have removed the quotation marks. Could you please re-review?
Again, very soon, I received:
Most users choose to use their First and Last names in the common name field in order to avoid any future name violation issues. All pseudonyms or nick names can be placed in the other names field below the common name field.
The Google Profiles Support Team
“Most users” do, do they? Could it be because, as senji pointed out on Twitter, they get their accounts suspended if they don’t?
(In passing: how annoying is it that they can’t tell you if there are multiple problems in their first contact? Instead you have to go back and forth, as they keep disclosing additional rules and requirements one by one.)
In any case, I wrote:
“Most users” may choose to do that, but for me, it won’t help, because I am not commonly known by my first and last legal names.
“Skud” is the name by which I am primarily known. I am compromising here, and trying to come up with something you’ll accept, by including my birth name at all. Few people on Google+, or indeed anywhere, know me by my birth name. I am known as Skud by professional colleagues, friends, lovers, people I live with, almost everyone. Many of them do not recognise me if I use “Kirrily Robert”.
Google previously denied my request to use the name that I’m commonly known by (i.e. Skud), which I thought conformed to your policy of “use the name that your friends, family, and colleagues know you by”, so I am trying to come up with something that still makes me identifiable to my social network, but meets your requirements.
I beg you to reconsider your decision. My social network as “Kirrily Robert” is weak and irrelevant, but as Skud I am well known. Perhaps not as well known as Lady Gaga or 50 Cent, but still moderately famous. I need Google+ to recognise that Skud *is* my common name and allow me to use it in a way that is visible on my posts and comments, not just on my profile (which people won’t generally see).
That was at 3:52pm, US west coast time. I know that Google has TGIF from 4-ish onwards, and that I shouldn’t expect a response after that time. From what I hear, though, if Neil went to TGIF he would have seen a question about my case appear on the Google Moderator system that’s used for Q&A, and would have seen Larry Page skip right past it, refusing to respond. Stay classy, Google management.