Stilgherrian versus Google, Round 2

There’s been a few developments this week in my battle with Google over my name. More communication. And more media coverage.

On 18 August I responded to Google’s boilerplate email thusly:

Hi folks,

My full, legal name is a mononym, “Stilgherrian”. It has been so for 30 years. This name has been used consistently throughout that time on every official document, in every credit line in print, on radio and on television, in everyday use… everywhere.

Dare I say it, a Google Search will soon reveal that.

My only photo ID is my passport, and I am unwilling to send a copy because I have security concerns.

I can’t edit my name in Google Profiles to match my “real” name, because it won’t let me leave the surname field blank.

How do we fix this?



Google’s reply arrived on 20 August.

Continue reading “Stilgherrian versus Google, Round 2”

My Google names-policy rant goes global

My expletive-ridden blog post about Google’s fucked-up “real names” policy and their brain-dead implementation has gone global.

While my editor at Crikey commissioned an article, To Google, we are data fodder, and I am an unperson, the story was picked up by an American political blog and linked to by The Wall Street Journal.

The post has been viewed at least 6000 times, probably many more. So far.

I’ve just written a lengthy response to the 127 comments so far. I do think that people who say “It’s only a beta” and “It’s just a bug” and “Well it is a free service” and “What do you expect with a weird name?” have entirely missed the point.

That, too, will probably offend people.

And now my work here is done.

Please add your comments on the original post.

[Photo: Logo from Google Developer Day 2007 by meneame comunicacions, sl, used under a Creative Commons BY-SA license.]

Right, Google, you stupid cunts, this is simply not on!

[Stilgherrian writes: Oh dear. This post has generated a lot of interest. Thank you for that interest. But if you’re visiting for the first time, I strongly suggest you also read my lengthy response to commenters and the fair warning before posting your own comment.]

I knew this would happen sooner or later. Google, a data mining company in the United States, has the ignorant arrogance to tell me, a citizen of Australia, that my name — my legal name — doesn’t fit their scheme for how names “should” work. Well fuck you, arseholes!

What’s worse, this is how they tell you.

They suspend your profile, tell you your name is wrong, and tell you to change it.

Your profile has been suspended.

It appears that the name you entered doesn’t comply with our Names Policy.

The Names Policy requires that you use the name that you are commonly referred to in real life in your profile. Nicknames, maiden names, and so on, should be entered in the Other Names section of the profile. Profiles are currently limited to individuals; we will be launching a profile for businesses and other entities later this year.

Your profile will be suspended until you do edit your name to comply with the Names Policy: you will not be able to make full use Google services that require an active profile, such as Google+, Buzz, Reader and Picasa. This will not prevent you from using other Google services, like Gmail.

We understand that Google+ and it’s [sic] Names Policy may not be for everyone at this time. We would hate to see you go, but if you choose to leave, make a copy of your Google+ data first. Then, click here to leave Google+.

Listen, Googlecunts. This name precisely fits your Names Policy.

Continue reading “Right, Google, you stupid cunts, this is simply not on!”

Skank Media registered!

Ah yes! The Plan gently unfolds. My new business name Skank Media is now registered. A shame that the Office of Fair Trading has got my name wrong on the certificate — again.

Script Challenge: can you figure this out?

I’ve decided that each weekend I’ll dig out an object or two from my more distant past and write about it. To kick things off, here’s a challenge which was originally created by the same chap who coined my name.

The text you can see in the image below (at least if you happen to be sighted) is in an unknown script. Your task is obvious, I think.

The only clues you have are that it’s a quote from a book by Ursula LeGuin and it’s nothing whatsoever to do with Tolkein.

Image of text in an unknown alphabet

Now originally I solved this in under 2 days, without the aid of computers or amphetamines. I reckon that in The Age of the Internet you can do better. I’ll negotiate a suitable prize for the first person who posts the solution.