Not much. They're only doing damage control. I wonder whether Matt Cutts is on holiday or something, by the way..
Let's say I decide I have to break up with my live-in girlfriend, for good and sufficient reason. Perhaps she banged my three best friends, perhaps she literally killed my dog with an axe. Doesn't matter - I have my reasons. I break up with her. I still have to give her back her stuff from my apartment. If I don't do so, I'm committing a separate offense of my own. I lose the moral high ground.
Maybe something has to be worked out - maybe a friend of hers has to come over and get it, maybe I put her shit in boxes out on the porch. Whatever. I still have to give her back her stuff. The courts agree, public opinion agrees, the police agree. Whatever she did, no matter how egregious the violation, my swiping her stuff is FUCKING FROWNED UPON and is not justified by whatever harm she did to me.
Google demonstrates no knowledge of this legal and social norm. That's what is pissing people off. Implement a system to let people download their data from closed accounts and you can delete accounts with no explanation all day long.
Stealing people's data - regardless of what they did to you - is something that most people consider to be evil. Nobody cares about whether the guy did anything wrong or not. He's seizing the moral high ground from you because you, also, have committed a wrong.
It is however realistic for Google to solve this by putting a violating account in a "read-only" mode, where you are able to export all you data and not do anything else.
Allowed access to banned accounts in "Read-only" mode is ripe for abuse by spammers and phishers who could benefit from still being able to access information in the violating accounts. Its the wrong kind of solution to a problem that really comes down to personal responsibility.
I think most people know deep down the responsible thing to do is have backups of all their important data... the cloud is just making people lazy. And providing a "read-only" access to a banned account will only make people lazier and more apathetic about it. "oh.. no worries.. Googles got my back" But what happens when Google is hacked, or suffers a natural disaster, or other catastrophic failure? It only serves to make the problem worse. Losing your data, to even a wrongfully banned account, is nobody's fault but your own.
There so many more reasons to backup your data before something bad happens, not after.... thats what we should be promoting
Regarding spammers and phishers, these are users violating the law and they of course have no legitimate claims to their account data.
This philosophy, or at least the "out" part, should apply doubly after someone's account is terminated in this manner. Google has determined that sinning against one service warrants terminating access to other services. That may be justifiable. But sinning against one service should not warrant loss of one's data in other services.
4.4 You acknowledge and agree that if Google disables access to your account, you may be prevented from accessing the Services, your account details or any files or other content which is contained in your account.
I have no knowledge of what services he can or can't access, just that it is within Google's purview to remove access to all Google's services.
P.S. This is not Twitter and we don't use hashtags in our posts. Please act as though you have a semblance of decorum.
Think about what you could do with a tiny bit of programming knowledge and keyword knowledge to make money using these service. Then try it and get banned. Cutts works all day to ban guys like this. He's less webspam hall monitor than he is the "Ad Sheriff". The internet, and Google, is the Wild Wild West. The only thing stopping people from scraping cash from Google and other ad networks are people like him. And their algos of course.
Sorry your account got banned bro. You just got tased by the cops. Next time don't ask questions about Skull and Bones and deliver good content instead, as Cutts always says.
This is like sentencing someone to death for shoplifting. GMail, Picasa, etc. are not about AdWords; they're a means for people to connect with each other. Unless, of course, Google is agreeing that you are indeed a product and not a user.
I just started using G+ (mainly because I'd like there to be a strong competitor to FB), but Google's antics give me cause for concern. I'd hate to get "hacked" some day and have Google completely wipe out every bit I have with them.
When you sign-up for a Google account, there's a little something called a Terms of Service you agree to. You violate them? You sacrifice all rights to any data you may or may not have on their services. That's something every Google user agrees to from day one. If you don't like that punishment, you shouldn't have signed up.
Alternatively, we could make arguments for why that is a bad idea, post them on a public forum, and hope that Google sees it.
+1's, buzz, contacts, picasa and my +1 posts?
That's less than 10 % of the data I have with Google.
...Gmail will only let you down a few hundred emails at a time. You can repeat the command (let getmail finish each time before you run it again) until all of your email is downloaded.
You honestly expect users to fetch of their mail a few hundred messages at a time ?
You also leave out the fact that if you re-run that script a number of times in a row, Google's server's will block you until you fill out a captcha and wait 24 hours.
GMail is a free service, so having limited features and options is expected. But it's troublesome that Google doesn't feel it has an obligation to respect its user's data. An admin you're not allowed to contact thinks you violated the terms and all of your mail is deleted. Business contracts, random chats with cute girls/boys from school, messages from family and friends who might not be here anymore, ... all of it is gone.
If that were the case then why can't Google disclose this to him when they close his account? (And perhaps, though this is a separate issue, then even give him a chance to defend his position -- you know, like they do in The Real World?)
Any other theories?
Deleting the whole account is really unjustifiable! If OP was abusing some service of Google, then ban him from this specific service, but why take his whole data?
If there is something to learn, it's to keep a local copy of anything you have, and never be 100% depending on an online service. But then this obliterates the benefits of investing entirely in so called cloud services with any company, including Google. Ownership of your data, doesn't seem to be one of those benefits.
And how do you download all your Google Analytics data? This page on the Data Liberation page suggests that you export to XML, Excel or TSV. http://www.dataliberation.org/google/analytics
But to do daily backups of all the dimensions, metrics, advanced segments etc. would be very time consuming.
You could do it easier with the API, but that requires programming knowledge.
I'll quote terryb088 from reddit in saying, 'The whole "cloud computing" model that companies like Google are pushing requires that we place good faith in the companies that provide these services. In my opinion good faith runs both ways, and any suspension of services needs to have a channel for dispute and resolution.'
The bottom line is, with so much of our personal information and other material invested in Google and its services, the opportunity to appeal (much less be given a reason for) account termination should always be available. It speaks volumes of Google's attitude towards its users that there is not such an avenue already provided.
If the guy broke the rules and had that action taken against him...and Cutts agrees...he did something wrong for real. Automated mistakes happen. Obviously this was not one of those.
The only sad part about this, is that we'll never know what he did wrong. Shame.
It certainly makes me question the wisdom of keeping my email in Gmail and my photos in Picasa. And anything else in other parts of my google account.
If Google is going to act like they can hold all of your data easily and effectively, why would a normal user back up their data? Would a normal user even know how? I doubt any of my friends would know where to start, or why they even should. After all, Google operates under the pretense of being a reliable service.
And let's get one thing clear: they ARE a reliable service. Up until they deactivate your account.
They insisted that their automated ban system could not make a mistake. While I realize that most people banned from any online service probably deserve it, you can tell the quality of a company by the way they handle the mistakes. And there are always mistakes.
Here's where I documented all I tried to do years ago with no success in case anyone is interested: https://sites.google.com/site/vacban/
The right to know the specific charges lodged
"A defendant has the right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. Therefore, an indictment must allege all the ingredients of the crime to such a degree of precision that it would allow the accused to assert double jeopardy if the same charges are brought up in subsequent prosecution. The Supreme Court held in United States v. Carll, 105 U.S. 611 (1881) that “in an indictment ... it is not sufficient to set forth the offense in the words of the statute, unless those words of themselves fully, directly, and expressly, without any uncertainty or ambiguity, set forth all the elements necessary to constitute the offense intended to be punished.” Vague wording, even if taken directly from a statute, does not suffice."
So the charges have to be specific enough. In this case, they are super general.
Pretty much all the other parts of justice are denied by google too (except the right to a speedy trial). These include the right to a public trial, an impartial jury, legal representation, the right to call witnesses in one's own favor, and the right to confront one's accusers.
Obviously Google is not required to give anyone these rights. But not even giving a semblance of them puts google on the evil side.
These rights aren't just made up for no reason - in the past people realized that just trusting leaders to do the right thing doesn't work, and gets corrupted. To stop this corruption they came up with ideas for how to make things more fair, and built systems around this. In some cases they even died to get these rights. Just trusting google to do the right thing is a scary, primitive way to deal with their power - and google seems to be wilfully ignoring that progress.
I wish I knew what terms I have supposedly violated. Google are being really mysterious, very Kafkaesque, because they refuse to tell me what I have violated and they refuse to allow me the option of appeal. I am guessing I was suspended because I posted a Google-critical thread regarding the user-names issue but the ToS don't mention anything about not being able to criticize Google. Free speech is theoretically permissible.
The most detail I can get from Google is that my suspension is due to "text and images" which alleged violates community standards. No precise details whatsoever and no option for appeal.
I got banned from Adsense just over a Year ago and I thought about making Noise. BUT I wanted to work WITH Adsense and Google. Why Burn Bridges? So I tried to use the proper channels. But very disappointing that I was Ignored the whole time.
All I do/did was make Family Friendly YouTube Videos and occasionally post on my website. MY writings, My Original Videos. No Gaming the system no extra promotion, just let the views and the subscribers build naturally. I STILL have NO idea why Adsense Disabled me.
BUT there is an Issue that Many Partners have become Victims of. Clickbombing. There is no way to View or Track where impressions or clicks are coming from on YouTube. AND even if you report the activity, you still get banned. I was having slow steady Success. Was the Invalid Activity hidden in the Success data? I have no idea.
Looks like it is time to start a revolution. This might make National News.
It took me 5 years to finally reach the minimum payout, and they banned my account right before the 2nd payout. I did not do any click fraud.
The only other explanation I can think of is "click bombing" but I did not have logs longer than a week and did not see anything unusual.
It is infuriating that not only did they steal $100 from me (it was stolen from me because I could've used the other advertisers I am using now during those months), but that I am banned without an explanation. And they have the gall to ask me to try out Adwords with a $100 coupon.
While I don't intend on doing this myself, I'm HORRIFIED at the idea that Google would suddenly cut me off from all my data without reason.
Yes, you can remove someone from your service if you like. But you must let them retrieve their materials. Otherwise, please trust us: We will go somewhere else. Behavior like this from FB is why we came here in the first place.
But anyway, we would appreciate it if you didn't start spamming HN with this story. We know the details. We know you're upset. We don't really care.
If you must comment, one comment per threading level, please. Don't reply to the same comment more than once. And, keep it short. There must be something better to do with your life than tell everyone that Google disabled your account due to ToS violations.
It's sad. Move on.
So yes, speak for yourself. I appreciate what he's doing as well.
I think you, and possibly your neighbor, might have become victims of this kind of shoddy, falsified intelligence work. Back when the "war on terror" was really hotted up after 9/11, there were tons of stories of Muslims being erroneously charged with terrorism, like the time with the "Detroit Sleeper Cell" that turned out to be just some impoverished Detroit Muslims; the FBI took wild liberties interpreting a disturbed man's doodles to be some sort of terrorist plot. Well, now the intel agencies are a little more restricted in their ability to harass and intimidate innocent Muslims (well, as long as they're within our borders). But as we've seen with the story about the 13 year-old, these agencies are still quite willing to harass and intimidate online activists, accusing them of being "hacktivists" and seizing their property. And we've also seen that companies such as google are quite "in bed" with the gov't whenever they ask them for the data in the name of "the war on terror."
TL;DR I suspect that google disabled your account at the behest of the gov't who are in turn serving credit card companies mad about being DDoSed by Anon who was mad at them for stealing money from wikileaks, who the credit card companies say violated THEIR terms of service.
The question remains, despite the link to Betsy Perry's G+ post which has been repeatedly posted in this thread in order to discredit you, is which term of service you violated in the use of your gmail account? Google refuses to answer this, which is what makes me most confident that some homeland security BS is involved here.
(Also, in the space of ycombinator users, fozzymandias and thomasmonopoly share the same coordinates. No proof.)
and the thing about anonymous in my building is very true, look it up. bushwick bk. ny post. i don't know the specifics. but i did have breakfast two days ago with someone who knew the tenants and let's just say i don't want to know and he didn't want to tell me what was going on.