July 23rd, 2011

complaining, Huffer

Google+ Already Making Kids Cry

So much for not being a dick, Google.

"Alex is 10 years old. He has had a Gmail account since September 2009 — almost two years. He uses email to keep in touch with his grandparents, who live in California and Scotland. He is signed up to get newsletters and updates from his favourite online hangouts, like Roblox and Hyves. He has just started using Google Chat to chat with me over IM, even though I'm usually just sitting at my desk on the other side of the room.

Yesterday, he noticed that Google+ was enabled for his account. Yay! So he made himself a Google Profile, and added me and Abi to his family circle. Even Alex had heard about Google+, and he was excited to be using it.

Today, he tried to use Gmail, but found that his account was locked. A big scary message says that his account has been shut down because Google has discovered a Terms Of Service age violation. Not only is the account inaccessible, they also say that they will delete it in 29 days, unless he provides them with evidence that he is over 13 years old. All because he entered his date of birth when he created his Google Profile.

Alex was in tears. He is enormously upset about this. Google is basically just going to delete his last two years of email messages (they don't offer any way to log in and export his messages), and plans to cut him off from his family until he turns 13."

More here: http://www.sunpig.com/martin/archives/2011/07/03/google-made-my-son-cry.html

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