Open Letter to Google+ Profile Support

On Sep 19, 2011, at 11:25 AM, Google Profiles Support wrote:


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.

I am curious what community developed the standards?  If there really is a community behind them, where can one engage in dialogue about them and have one’s needs addressed.

Please avoid the use of any unusual characters. For example, numbers,symbols, or obscure punctuation might not be allowed.

(.)’s for last names are permitted for mononym people. I am making this choice.

If you search my name “Kaliya” in Google, I am 1/2 of the links, the other 1/2 are for the Hindu mythical figure that happens to share my name.

It is my name. I claim name sovereignty.

Most users choose to use their first and last names in the common name field in order to avoid any future name violation issues.

I am not “most users”. I am unique individual with my own name.

How can a name be in violation? What is a “name violation issue” anyways? Who says?

I feel violated by this experience because I do not want to use my (soon to be ex-) husband’s (who I’ve been separated from for 3 years) last name, Hamlin, as the headline on MY profile. I am fine listing it in the “other name” field – it is an “other name” to me.

I do not want to use my old last name, Young, last used in 2004 before my professional career began. I am also fine listing this the “other name” field as some who knew me before this date will be able to find me this way. Again, it is not appropriate for the headline on my profile.

I was fine using my professional handle/title “Identity Woman” as my last name for the headline of my profile but this was rejected by your acceptable name algorithms for having a space in it and being words not commonly in last names.

I actually do often list “Identity Woman” as my last name when I attend conferences so it is on my badge prominently  on my badge because my current last name (my ex-husband’s name) isn’t relevant. My Identity Woman professional handle IS relevant to the context, being at a professional conference so I choose to use it as my last name.

I decided when I began using Google+ that I would present and put forward information relevant to and related to my work persona Identity Woman and I am sticking with this persona in this context.  My Gmail address is after all

Last week I went back to what I had before we began this name silliness back and forth a symbol in my last name field on my Google profile for the last 4 years. I have gone ahead and listed other names as “Hamlin, Young, Identity Woman”. You are refusing this option.  This seems like the best compromise position all around. A win-win.

So I am not really sure where to go with this. Is there a human being I can talk to? How do I actually move through this process. Continuing to interact with faceless, first name only people in e-mail and via ever changing rejection notes on my profile is not working for me.

You can review our name guidelines at

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.

I am not editing my profile. I want to talk with a human being to resolve this or alternatively we can a committee meeting with your team at Google.

This feels like I am being put on trial for my choice of name.

It feels dehumanizing and unjust.  I expect better from a company like Google.





The Google Profiles Support Team

ps. What is your real name? I am curious to know more about you by looking you up on the internet and then maybe will have a better idea about how to persuade you to let my name be.


  1. Anon4fun says

    “I am curious what community developed the standards?”

    These are not standards developed BY a community, rather they are standards developed FOR a community: to be populated by us, the newly-washed users, according to the visionaries at Google Inc. and NSTIC.

  2. John says

    you may want to pick your name, but my mother isn’t going to join a site where people on it are named “Identity Woman”. She likes Facebook for its real-looking names.

  3. says

    “Please adjust your life to fit our money-making schemes or you will be an outcast, yours sincerely The New Community AKA BotGoogle.”

    [We bomb poor people so that they too can experience this Freedom, after all, we are the Civilized World.]

  4. Exquisite Good says

    Ok, then why you ask (when posting a comment in your website) our email addresses, dear ? QUOTE : Mail (will not be published) b-u-t *REQUIRED. Why ?

    Are you going to become as said by Botgirl in her video about Google ? ( as gods, knowing everything, but “not evil, not at all evil” … ) come on, now, please, if you plead for no names and identity freedom, why you ask users email addresses ?

    Thank you on behalf of all your naive readers… btw, I share your position in regard of G+ policy (being against it).

  5. TG2 says

    First, you should really proofread, and edit your post … example:

    “I feel violated by this experience with you….because I do not what to use my soon to be ex-husband have been separated for 3 years last name (Hamlin) as the headline on MY profile. I am fine listing it in the “other name” field – it is an “other name” to me.”

    aside from typing “what” for “want”, punctuation is direly needed and the whole “…because” to “(Hamlin)” needs to be re-written for its thought process.

    Second .. you’re not alone and the more you learn about GGL+ the less you may want to be a part of it. Today I just found the following:

    Key in that read, is that Name Tagging a photo shares that album with the person you tagged them as. That person can then see the full album, share it with anyone they want, regardless of privacy settings.

    Add to this that you can not comment on photos unless you’re a GGL+ user.

    This is a net loss of features and usability all for “not” wanting to join Google+. That’s in addition to removing anonymity that you may have had for using a pseudonym, and that you can hide everything about your profile but for that “name” they define as the holier than thou requirement. How many John Smiths can there really be in the world? And why should you be made into a liar to use their service just because you don’t want to use your real name.. and that doesn’t even move into the whole “Metta World Peace” issue.. nor to how “Prince” would have been addressed with his fancied Ankh symbol for name.

    In any case … your pain is noted, and GGL+ is not for many of us due to name and other issues behind the unification of GGL+ …. of all that which is GGL … “your GGL are belong to us”

  6. Ben Finney says

    It feels dehumanizing and unjust. I expect better from a company like Google.

    That may be the primary mistake :-)

    ps. What is your real name?

    Nice postscript. They insist that the “community” obey their unilateral rules, but “Bennett” can choose not to reveal identifying information.

  7. says

    Hi there, I found your website by means of Google while searching for a related topic, your website got here up, it appears to be like great. I’ve added to my favourites|added to my bookmarks.


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