If you follow tech news, you may have stumbled upon frequently posted horror stories of businesses, developers and individuals losing access to their Google accounts online.
One of the latest to receive Google's banhammer is Terraria developer Andrew Spinks and his company Re-Logic.
Terraria is a very successful independent game, one of the most successful games in fact, with more than 30 million copies sold by April 2020 according to an article on Games Industry.
A post made by the official Terraria account on Twitter revealed that the company had issues with its Google account, and here in particular with the services YouTube and Gmail.
After spending 3 hours tonight actively trying to get a response we are no closer to recovering our Youtube or Gmail account. We have been locked out of both without explanation for 10 days now.
All videos of the YouTube account are still up, but the profile image has been replaced with a default icon, and access to the account was disabled.
Re-Logic explained on Twitter that nothing new was added to the YouTube channel for the past three months and that it did receive a terms of service violation email. The company's entire account was disabled three days later according to messages published on Twitter.
Today, Andrew Spinks published a series of tweets on Twitter about the situation. Spinks reveals that he could not get Google to lift the ban and reinstate the account.
@Google my account has now been disabled for over 3 weeks. I still have no idea why, and after using every resource I have to get this resolved you have done nothing but given me the runaround.
He states that he lost access to all account data, including data on Google Drive, apps and content that he bought on Google Play, the YouTube channel, or the 15-years in service Gmail address.
My phone has lost access to thousands of dollars of apps on
@GooglePlay. I had just bought LOTR 4K and can't finish it. My
@googledrive data is completely gone. I can't access my
@YouTube channel. The worst of all is losing access to my
@gmail address of over 15 years.
A single violation claim affecting one of the services and apps, can lead to the disabling of an entire account.
Spinks made the decision to discontinue developing Terraria for Google Stadia, and announced that his company won't support any Google platform going forward.
I absolutely have not done anything to violate your terms of service, so I can take this no other way than you deciding to burn this bridge. Consider it burned. #Terraria for
@GoogleStadia is canceled. My company will no longer support any of your platforms moving forward.
I will not be involved with a corporation that values their customers and partners so little. Doing business with you is a liability.
Users and companies, who get their accounts banned, face several challenges, including, that little information, if any, is provided that explains why an account or a service was banned.
That in itself would not be a huge problem if Google and other major Internet companies would provide proper access to channels to resolve issues. One of the few options available for affected companies and users is to try and create huge outcry on the Internet; it happened more than once that bans were lifted after a story was shared thousands of times on sites like Reddit or Hacker News.
Google and other major Internet companies use machine learning and artificial intelligence, and while that makes sense because of the scale of data and interactions, it is also error prone. Legitimate accounts get disabled regularly and since there are little options to contact a company like Google, it often means that bans remain in place even while it could sometimes be resolved in a matter of minutes of direct communication.
Now You: what is your take on the whole story? Have you experienced something similar in the past?Advertisement
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.