[This is a direct c+p from an email I just sent to Google. This letter was written to the “profiles support team” who have decided that I cannot use their service if I want to go by the name Mark “Rizzn” Hopkins. FWIW, since many people ask, I entered it into the service FN: Mark “Rizzn” LN: Hopkins. –mrh]
Dear Neil of the Google Profiles Support Team,
First of all, I think you folks are retarded if you believe I want to use your social network after this. My usage of this name predates the formation of your company. My personal domain name was registered around the same time Google.com was. For you to come in and tell me what my name is – true audacity, and I’m outraged.
For you to look at all the sites and references I gave you and tell me that not a single one of them is reputable (Mashable? #theCube? Gmail? SiliconANGLE? Archive.org? None of these are reputable in your eyes?), that is infuriating beyond belief, and demonstrates either unimaginable ignorance or gargantuan hubris. Either one causes me to lose a great deal of respect for your organization.
I can understand that you’re trying to mitigate certain unsavory elements in the nascent Google+ environment. You’re trying to prevent anonymity because you don’t want to create the next 4chat. You’re trying to stop brands from invading because you don’t want the next Myspace or Twitter. You’re attempting to mitigate impersonation because you want people to feel secure in their identities.
That’s great for you. It’s your social network, and you can run it how you like, and I won’t attempt to debate philosophy, nor will I delve deeply into how badly you’re failing in your mission (since my account has been suspended, no less than six brands have "circled" me on +).
But what you’re messing with is my identity. Since I’ve been online (and I’m counting BBS years here), I’ve been Mark "Rizzn" Hopkins. Before I was out of middle school, I received mail in that name. There are more people in the world who call me by my nickname than by my birth name. For me to divorce my identity from my nickname actually mitigates the level of familiarity people will have with who I am on your service.
Let me be clear – I’ve been a lifelong Google evangelist. I’ve known a lot of people in your organization. My entire digital life relies on your continued existence. Hell, I’m even a paying customer for your storage services.
I’m willing to throw that all away, because you’ve taken such a cavalier attitude towards suspending my account. There was no warning, and even though I provided dozens of sources supporting my own identity (including a photo ID), you’ve determined that you know better than I do who I am.
If you don’t see how that’s insulting to me, you’re not human, and frankly, I don’t want to know you.
Incidentally, I’ve been one of your most ardent defenders when people make the allegation that "Google doesn’t get social." Yeah. That’s right out the window.
Here’s what I want:
- Before I initiate the appeals process, I want to know if you can delete my account without negatively affecting data I have stored in Picasa and Google Reader.
- Since my account was suspended, I’m no longer able to share posts or interact on Picasa. If my account is deleted, will I still be able to use these services?
- If the answer is that you can’t shut down my Google+ account without destroying or harming access to other Google services (Buzz, Picasa, Reader), then I will begrudgingly keep my profile for now with my now edited legally given birthname.
- If the answer is that you can decouple Buzz, Picasa, and Reader from any Google+ account, then please do so immediately and/or point me to how to do it myself.
- You can feel free to reach out to me once you get a better and well thought out policy regarding names, and I might consider re-joining the fold. Truth be told, though, is that you guys aren’t the only game in town when it comes to commodity-priced cloud and virtualized services. I’m going to be looking at "the other guys" pretty closely, and probably leaving, so you should probably act fast if you give a crap at all.
Honestly, you probably don’t care at all. I’m probably talking to a bot (which is why I’m cross-posting this to my blog), so, in conclusion (and tl;dr), you guys suck at customer service, your naming rules are fscking stupid, answer my bulletpointed questions so I know how badly you’re going to screw me on getting my data out of your service, and I’m probably going to over-react and quite Google altogether over this.
/mark "rizzn" hopkins
My real-time email load (and ways to get faster response time).
On Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 2:12 PM, Google Profiles Support <email@example.com> 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.
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
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