Operation Global Media Domination: The Google+ Situation

well in fact I AM a big deal on Google+

well in fact I AM a big deal on Google+

You know how we hate to toot our own horn around these parts, but this must be said: apparently I’m kind of a big deal on Google+

which is really rather amusing, considering I’ve been banned twice in two days and am still banned. Nonetheless, here’s what my stats look like today:












Meaning that even though I can’t do my usual self-promotional link-dropping, and all my existing droppings have been mopped up from the Goog, other people are spreading my droppings all over the horizon. It’s kinda like Farmville, only I WIN!

And as to why I’ve been banned twice, that’s easy. I’m raincoaster, right? Over five million blog readers have encountered me as raincoaster, so when I started up in G+ I started as “rain coaster.” Now, I wasn’t stupid; the rules clearly say you MUST identify yourself by your real name, so I opened the account not from raincoaster at gmail dot com but from real.name at gmail dot com, and in the space provided for “other names” I put Real Name. I mean, why would you HAVE that space if you weren’t allowed to have more than one name, right? Or as this very wise person put it:

I actually got clipped by Google a week ago due to using the name CZ Unit. Which was interesting, since they asked me to use the name I am commonly known by.

I had to explain over the course of a week that my friends know me as CZ, family knows me as CZ, people in real life know me as CZ. I even asked my friends “What name pops into your mind when you think about me”? “What name do you call me when you see me across a room”

In both cases (and others) the results were unanimous: CZ. Even the person who turned me in used to call me CZ back in 1987 (yes, I have the NextMail with voice attachment

I had to point them to my LJ (cz-unit), something I have been keeping since 2002. 3,000 posts; probably not a sock puppet.

I had to have my friends send emails of support and they were even having notarized letters signed on my behalf saying that they knew me as CZ and only as CZ.

And I had to scan in a copy of my lunch bag as evidence that yes: My wife even writes “CZ’s Lunch” on my bag. What more positive, tangible ID would one need?

All of this brings up two points: First is who defines a person? Is it your parents? Your Job? The Government? Google? Your friends? You?

Second is just how wise is it to outsource your friend support network? I was on G+ for a week when I got clipped, and I still have my LJ as a backup. How about people who don’t have that? What are they going to do when their network vanishes due to upsetting the provider?

Very interesting stuff. I wrote about it on my LJ, it has been an interesting experience. But it does help me to answer the age old question:

“Who Am I?”

That’s a very, very wise post. My own experience was a little less profound, since I’m used to dealing with this question All the Damn Time.

The first time I was banned, there was no notification at all, and if someone hadn’t posted the direct link to the appeal process in the help forum, I wouldn’t have been able to ask for my account back. Google deleted that helpful forum post, by the way. Why, if they don’t want to be evil? It asked for links to places I was mentioned as “raincoaster,” and they had to be along the lines of registered accounts at Google-owned sites like YouTube or media mentions, that kinda thing. I gave them this list (stalkers, here’s your dream material!):



Is that enough, Google??? IS IT??? For god’s sake, the LinkedIn and Facebook vanity links are “raincoaster.”

Google emailed me after I filled in the form to tell me that changing my name from “rain coaster” to what I had on my LinkedIn Profile would be acceptable. My LinkedIn profile says “Real (raincoaster) Name,” so that’s what I did (subbing in quotation marks for parenthesis). Last night, they suspended my account AGAIN.

I guess something like 20 links is still not enough?

When are they gonna suspend Xeni Jardin, who also isn’t using her birth name?

And, as women are disproportionate users of pseudonyms (for “what are you wearing, baby” issues), this has become a gender issue. Yeah, I know it’s old skool and boring to call out sexism, but even if that was not the intention, that has been the result.

Don’t be evil. Bitches.

17 thoughts on “Operation Global Media Domination: The Google+ Situation

  1. My friend Bob tried to post on G+ “We want raincoaster. That is all” and it actually turned out to say “We want ***********. That is all.”

    I am fucking Ozymandias, I am: must not only cease to be, but to have ever been. I cannot even be invoked, if you try to tag me.

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  3. I first joined Google+ as “azahar sevilla” because that was the name I was using on my Google profile and it was the one that came up in the registration form. A couple of days later I changed it to my real name, even though more people know me as “azahar” than “Shawn”, because I didn’t see anyone else on Google+ (other than you) using a nickname. Except these *are* our real names online. I mean, if you’d put your name as Karen Foley there would have been no problem, even though that name is completely false. Boggling.

    At least you are not (yet) having the same problem as this guy:

  4. Yes, I saw that post. They are obviously not applying the rules in an even handed way, but rather arbitrarily. Look at Xeni Jardin! She is in no danger of losing her account even though our experiences and backgrounds are similar; she is just more famous than me.

    I did suggest on Facebook that I could register an account as Viggo Mortensen. Since I have his fingerprints, I could probably quote unquote prove I was him. But that would be evil, so I may just make up a fake persona or I may just say the hell with it.

  5. You should really try getting more of an internet presence. Apparently, Puppet-master of the Interverse is google’s job. Un-Coogl. I was going to say, if you ever get un-banned, friend me, they haven’t banned me yet for using my name–Lost Weeknight, but that’s probably because I only have one friend, and as yet haven’t upset any of the neighbor, but now you’ve made me re-think even that commitment. :(

    re: CZ’s story, what is LJ?

  6. LJ is Livejournal, one of the oldest blogging sites. It used to be primarily dominated by anime freaks and scrapbooking, home-schooling Moms, but nowadays because of its awesome privacy protection, it’s getting some more serious people.

    And they WILL ban you. Wait for it.

    Yeah, I should obviously be more self-promotional, eh?

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  8. Just curious, did you also give them more of your LinkedIn profile? Social Media Club whoha, world acclaimed this and that, expert WordPress mentor and guide on the WordPress.com and other forums, going beyond links to resume and accomplishments?

    I’m starting the “Save raincoaster” campaign just for you, my friend! We’ll get you back on the map!

  9. Thanks, all. I really appreciate the backup.

    And Jaycee, I totally agree. If it were consistent, it would be easy to make the judgement call of whether you want in or not, and you’d know the conditions. Right now, Google is randomly moving the goal posts.

    I gave them the link to my LinkedIn profile, which includes all of that, i think. What’s WEIRD is that if I view the profile while logged in, it says “Lorraine ‘raincoaster’ Murphy” and if I view it while logged out, it says “Lorraine Murphy” which is BIZARRE and a change I did not make. And all of a sudden I’m getting CAPTCHAs on Facebook. Are they all talking to one another?

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  11. Just Read through this and I thought I would add my 2 bits…
    I went through this exact same thing when I first joined Facebook. They wouldn’t let me be “Wendy D” I had emails with facebook admin.. sent them my website – Wendyd.ca Wendy D Photography, my email wendyd@wendyd.ca.. Still nada.. I even had 2 phone calls with them to discuss it.. they only wanted “real” names. I finally gave up and made my real name Wendy Dphoto that was real enough for them.. go figure (and now a few people really think my last name is Dphoto).

    Now with Google+ I have an account but it was through my wendyd@wendyd.ca .. if you do that you can’t have a profile anymore.. its through a business, profiles are for “real” people. Although up until google + came out my wendyd@wendyd.ca had a profile. I now have a profile under Wendydphoto heh heh sound familiar.. I am sure they will come after me too.
    Facebook eventually did change things so maybe Google will after awhile as well.
    Wendy Dphoto

  12. Ha! Dphoto would be a very cool name; you could tell people you were Laotian or something!

    And yes, I was raincoaster on FB for some months, until they deleted it completely, not even allowing me to turn it into a fan page.

    But hey, look: contrary to assumed wisdom, real names don’t stop trolling:

    This guy simply disagreed with me about the use of pseudonyms. And then he LOST IT. Happens all the time; usually once males of a certain age range find out I’m female. They get angry because they feel cheated of the extra respect they gave me when they thought I was a man, and they always react badly.

    As someone on Twitter said, “Guess real names DON’T stop trolling”.

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