Engineering Professor (EngProf6)
Hybrid Engine for Modeling Stocks and Indices
What I E-Mailed Google and What Google Answered
The following is the original email I sent on April 21 to Google asking them to re-instate my account (email@example.com):
Hello Google Groups-Support,
I had an account firstname.lastname@example.org which was cancelled on Friday, April 21’06. I respect your position that individuals complained and thus you cancelled (banned) my account. That really looks great for someone like myself when visitors that are searching for me do not find me and instead they find out that I’ve been ‘banned’. You are causing serious damage to my credibility. My question to Google is simple “How much investigation is carried out after receiving a complaint prior to canceling an account”?
People complain for a variety of reasons. They complain because they are annoyed. They complain because they are being displaced by others. They complain because they are jealous.
I am a university professor in engineering for 26 years (you can check my IP address). I am conducting a study that focuses on the analysis of stocks and indices with mathematical algorithms I have developed. I have created a web site (http://engprof6.tripod.com) where I post the results from my model on a daily basis. I average about 200 downloads a day after being online for 3 weeks. My objective is to continue to do this until the end of the year when I will decide on what I will do next.
During the past 4 days since I received your message I did not initiate any posts. There were 5 or so replies that I made to individuals who questioned some of my work. That’s their prerogative, however, it is my right and my duty to set the record straight. You have cancelled my account because I have defended my work. If that is the case, it is not acceptable. That is discrimination. Plain and simple.
I expect that your position will be one of ‘You violated the Google Terms of Service’. I maintain that I have done no such thing. In fact, if you read what some individuals have written to me, you will find that they may be the subject of removal.
I think it is important to note that Google is in a position where it can be manipulated by some of the users. One can easily see that Google can end up being used to ‘get rid of’ individuals by some posters who feel threatened, insecure, or simply annoyed by someone. The fact that e-mail addresses are available on Google makes it feasible for someone to organize a campaign against someone else. You can end up with the situation where someone is targeted by a group that organizes itself via email. In fact, I think this is what happened in my case.
I do not accept the suspension of my account. If Google maintains its stand regarding my account, then I can tell you that I will protest this action by whatever means I have available.
I’m sorry I have to write this, but I have invested too much time and energy to get to where I am to have this happen to me. I will not have certain individuals destroy what I’ve accomplished because they are ‘jealous’.
It’s up to Google to ensure that my rights are not violated. This is a two way street. The users are asked to abide by your terms. However, the law stipulates that Google also has obligations to its users.
The Google discussion site can only succeed if you are able to get some Yahoo posters to move to Google. Pulling the plug on people like me is not, in my opinion, the answer.
Thank you for your reply. According to our records, several of your posts
were of abusive and profane nature towards other users. Many of your posts
have also been reported as spam. We've reviewed your posts and found that
you've violated our Community Guidelines and Terms of Service.
The Google Team
You will note that Google makes 3 specific points: 1) several of my posts were abusive, 2) several of my posts were of profane nature and 3) many of my posts were reported as spam. Therefore, I was banned. Now isn’t that great – especially if you consider that all my posts are sitting there on the Google boards. They show up as authored by engprof6 and when someone clicks my name, they are told that the account has been banned.
They really have some nerve to accuse me of being abusive and profane. Anyone can clearly see that my posts were made to defend myself and my work. They are there for all to see! As far as I can tell, the posters who were abusive towards me still have their accounts. With regards to spam, Google allows one to post one’s web address in one’s profile. What is wrong with reminding the readers that they can find out more by visiting my site. Anyway I slice it, Google is a big disappointment.
As a final point, one will note that I was banned because of what happened on the AAPL board. Since I was banned about a week ago, there have been only a handful of new posts and one of them is by SensorSteve. He calls me an ‘idiot’ and he goes on to state that he is happy I was banned. Incidentally, SensorSteve is about 20 or so and I was an engineering professor 6 years before he was born! No, I’m not bragging as some of the posters insisted – I’m just being factual. I wonder what credentials he has to insult me (and my reputation). Yet his account is still active.
Where are the posters who claimed I cluttered their space with spam? Where are the posters who were so intelligent that they couldn’t get over how sad it was for someone like me with garbage and worthless results to wish to be an engineering professor?
Thus far, I have not received any reasonable offers from lawyers to pursue this matter. My offer still stands, if some one is interested. Incidentally, I have cut and pasted this entire section and have sent it to Google in reply to their original email. From my perspective, the Google Team needs to review their actions. At the very least, they need to provide the one who is banned with a list of the postings that violated their terms. Google has not surprised me. After all, my original email correctly forecast Google’s response. That was an easy call.