An unusually substantial amount of Google+ accounts have either been suspended or deleted in the past 24 hours, with talk from users suggesting Google is going tough on those not using their real name. The news comes as Google attempts to reinforce their community standards policy which prohibits people from using a nickname.
ZDNet have reported on the story, in which several users have been in contact, with all familiar stories that their accounts have been suspended. A woman who was recently featured on the cover of WIRED magazine, found that her account was recently suspended after having the name "Limor 'Ladyada' Fried". After apparently a series of complaints from her fans, Google discreetly restored her account, however the story isn't the same for the majority, who have now found themselves locked out of the Google+ network. Some users are apparently reporting that they've even been suspended on all of the Google services that they're signed up to, such as Gmail and Documents.
In an interesting turn of events, a former Google employee found they were also blocked from the network, who had previously applauded the social network's statements regarding real names:
It then asks me for my name (uh, don’t you know that already?), email (ditto), link to my profile (ditto), and asks me to provide documentation. I can either give them a scan of my photo ID (obscuring “personal information”, whatever that means), or links to places on the web that demonstrate that this is my name.
They suggest using Facebook (the site that allows Google founder Sergey Brin to go under a pseudonym, and whose own founder has a page for his dog) as evidence. I have something better, though, because I expected this to happen and I had already collated my evidence. I linked to that page and submitted the form.
It is somewhat surprising that Google has decided to punish users, who would otherwise have only helped to grow the newly founded social networking site. In a time when the Google+ user base is growing significantly by the day, despite being invite-only, one would have expected a more lenient attitude in regards to their naming policy. On the other hand, it's understandable that Google wishes to maintain a social network that can be viewed by many, as a serious competitor to Facebook.
Image Source: Google