Odd Google profile verification system could delete account entirely for some

November 28, 2013
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Anyone that has had issues with a Google account knows it can be a headache. They want to verify your identity via picture ID, and often demand that the corresponding forms show your user name on them. If you’re not comfortable using your real name online, that could prove impossible, as one YouTuber found out.


Michael Janitch, known as dutchsinse on YouTube, reentry ran afoul of someone on the video sharing platform. Either in confusion or anger, his account was marked as one that impersonates another. He then says Google locked down his entire account, Google+ and Gmail included. He couldn’t get in to view emails, and had very little recourse otherwise.

When this kind of thing happens, Google asks for the aforementioned verification. The problem is, Janitch — like just about anyone using an alias — had no form of identification with dutchsinse on it. How can you prove you’re you when your online presence doesn’t note your real name, and your identification does? Your picture can be used by an impersonator, and Google would have no way of really tracking that.

He eventually got through by asking help from someone he knew at Google, but now says his account has been in flux, having been shut down six more times. At that, he still can’t adequately satiate Google’s need for proof he’s himself. It’s a paradox, created and lamented by Google.

Google’s goal is that we all use our real name and identity online, but that’s not exactly where everyone’s comfort zone lies. Especially as it relates to YouTube, users find comfort in being anonymous. While changing the comments system is one fix we like, there really should be a different kind of recourse for folks like dutchsinse.


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