Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Google account is disabled

My Google account has been disabled since the weekend, allegedly for being in breach of terms and conditions. This is affecting me and 3 other accounts so far as I know; what we have in common is we are in the same chain of invites to gmail, where at least one other account that I know is not in the same chain and was unaffected. We just got access back now. Prior to this incident Google was infallible in my book, but now my confidence in The Goo is severely shaken by this incident.

Now that I got burned I hesitate to leave any identifying or substantial information about myself on a public profile. My concern is that I could be locked out again and not be able to delete it or edit it.

I deleted my picasa photos, my docs, and my blogger profile. Several days ago, when this bomb hit, I deleted my youtube videos, minimized my profile there to just a dated message, and opted to delete my profile completely. It is still visible but locked out from logging in, so just as well that I deleted all other information from it.

The blogger blog I will leave for now. This is some kind of a hopeless situation. I think that I should sleep on it.

My other options include having no online profile whatsoever, or run my own LAMP server again from my laptop like before. The server is only accessible when I am online from my home connection, and with limited bandwidth. A LAMP server if very flexible, has no upload need, disk space restriction, or control issues, and can run a wordpress blog and gallery2 for photos among other applications.

This is a hairy predicament. All because of some unexplained dubious outage. If I had a sensible explanation from Google then maybe my concerns would be laid to rest more easily, but the way it happened leaves too much to unacceptable uncertainty.


[Revision 20070215]

This is a support page if you have a disabled Google account:

http://www.google.com/support/accounts/bin/answer.py?answer=40695


This is a form that is linked to from the above where you can report your problem:

http://www.google.com/support/accounts/bin/request.py?hl=en&ctx=accounts_hc&contact_type=disabled


This is a Google search for disabled google accounts, where I found some interesting stories about other people who had similar problems:

http://www.google.com.au/search?q=google+disabled+account+-adsense


In retrospect it appears that Google is having some issues. Whether it is technical or related to an spam attack or some upgrade, I will never know. I could have saved myself a lot of bother and time if I just did not worry about it for a few days, especially knowing that this time frame included a weekend when support is likely to be scant. Instead I freaked out and started to question a whole bunch of my policies, online activities, my online content, email, my future online storage practices and whether or not should be committed to Google any more like I was up to now. I, maybe needlessly, set up another google account, another youtube account, and took some rash deletion measures. The experience left a foul aftertaste for sure.

2 comments:

Sara said...

The same thing happened to me today - but no reply yet from technical support. How did you finally get your account back?

Bob said...

It just came back all by itself a few days later. Although I did write them a message and so did at least the friend who invited me to gmail whose account also was disabled in the same time. What happened behind the scenes I do not know.