Since Google Plus launched three weeks ago, most of its early adopters have been technology and/or social media aficionados. One lifestyle we haven't seen represented much on the site, especially when compared to Twitter, is that of the rich and famous. But William Shatner was one of the few celebrities to embrace the new social networking site. How was he thanked? By having his account temporarily disabled.
On Monday, Shatner tweeted, "My Google+ account was flagged for violating standards. Saying hello to everyone apparently is against the rules maybe I should say goodbye?" Google hasn't released an explanation of the incident, but it has been speculated that maybe Google assumed the profile was fake.
This brought to our attention an inevitable problem in the future: fake accounts. Regardless of what social network is the most popular at the moment, there's bound to be more than one "Ashton Kutcher" or "William Shatner" in search results. If more celebrities are going to start using Google Plus, this problem needs to be addressed.
It's been reported that Google is "very interested in having celebrities," and may use a verification system similar to Twitter's. CNN states that Google has a "celebrity acquisition plan" to verify the identities of high-profile users. While details of how the verification will work haven't been decided, a few options have been proposed. One option requires requesting official identification be scanned or faxed to Google, which seems like a hassle and may bring up security risks, especially when very important celebrities are involved. A more reasonable option is having talent agents and counselors file requests.
If celebrities flock to Google Plus, will you be more likely to sign-up or add them to your Circles?