You may recall a recent request that Google put out shortly after the launch of Google+ stating that they wanted businesses to refrain from making accounts on the network while it was in invitation-only mode. Google is planning on a separate launch of businesses with specialised profile pages and have been loosely threatening to shut down non-user accounts.
Well, Mashable.com did it anyway (and were cheeky enough to still run the “shut down non-user accounts” story too) and in the absence of any other tech blogs doing the same thing have managed to rack up a following of 100,000 followers on the new social service.
This seems to have rubbed a few people the wrong way. Google+ user Xeni Jardin shared this comment from her personal account:
Seriously, google friends: Why is +Mashable News still chillin’ with 100K followers while other “non-humans” have either proactively refrained, proactively closed their accounts, or been shut down (ie, ABC Radio News, LAUNCH)? I get that you’re kind of overwhelmed with the response, but this is making a lot of people who are otherwise enthusiastic about your new product feel bad.
I’ve kept the TWiT brand off G+, honouring Google’s request not to create brand accounts, and, as they requested, applied for their brand beta program. We’re still waiting. But not everyone is honouring the brand ban. Do brands that flout the rules get a free pass? I think Xeni raises an interesting question.
For those of you not keeping score at home, Leo Leporte is a superstar in the tech scene and his social networking presence is followed closely by a very large number of people. Naturally, his comments have sparked a giant wave of similar responses and resentment which you can view here.
So the question begs to ask – will Google have enough balls to ban the Google+ account of one of the biggest tech and social media blog empires in the world? Are they ready for the potential backlash or are they going to sit on their hands and pretend that this account doesn’t exist? I’m guessing the latter but it would be fascinating to see what the reaction would be if they had enough guts to actually go through with their ban promise and cut Mashable loose.
Fingers crossed for explosive nerd-vs-blogger action complete with Anonymous and LulzSec retaliatory action.
UPDATE: Google has come good on their threat to close down non-user accounts and have wiped out Mashable’s Google+ account, in addition to a few others. Good for them!