When we launched Google+ over three years ago, we had a lot of
restrictions on what name you could use on your profile. This helped
create a community made up of people who matched our expectations about
what a “real” person was, but excluded many other real people, with real
identities and real names that we didn’t understand.
We apologise unreservedly to those people, who through our actions were
marginalised, denied access to services, and whose identities we treated
as lesser. We especially apologise to those who were already
marginalised, discriminated against, or unsafe, such as queer youth or
victims of domestic violence, whose already difficult situations were
worsened through our actions. We also apologise specifically to those
whose accounts were banned, not only for refusing them access to our
services, but for the poor treatment they received from our staff when
they sought support.
Everyone is entitled to their own identity, to use the name that they
are given or choose to use, without being told that their name is
unacceptable. Everyone is entitled to safety online. Everyone is
entitled to be themselves, without fear, and without having to contort
themselves to meet arbitrary standards.
Further, our Google Real Identity technology has gotten advanced enough to the point that no matter who you say you are, we can connect with who you really are.