It’s official now. Actually it has been for some time, I just didn’t know about it. A large number of genuine Gmail accounts being used without any abuse are being disabled. Some accounts seem to be up again, but only some. Mine isn’t either, although it’s much more than 24 hours (the expected response time). And, yes, I had filled the required contact form quite early.
As the Economic Times (India) article says, “The Internet giant Google Inc reportedly disabled a few Gmail accounts in an overzealous [attempt?] to combat spammers”. Except that ‘few’ here refers to a very large number, judging from the lists of complaints I have seen while searching with the query ‘gmail account disabled’.
It is being suggested that only the new accounts are affected by this, but my account is not really a new one. If I am not mistaken, it’s more than an year old. That’s old enough for Gmail.
The funny thing is that the spate of spam mails (I was the recipient, not the sender, in case someone is mistaken) after which my account was disabled asked the recipients to furnish information about their Gmail accounts and threatened that if such information was not sent within the specified period, the account will be disabled. And the account was actually disabled, even before that deadline. Most of the people who saw that mail (it was sent multiple times to my account and many people commented about it) immediately thought that it was another of those fake mails which are a regular feature of the email world. But given this funny situation, I can’t help wondering whether the mail was actually an official Google mail. Of course, it was not, but an absurd situation anyway.
I am still waiting for my account to be enabled again. And I hope the primary account is not disabled in the ‘overzealous attempt to combat spammers’. As I said earlier, I oppose spam but I don’t support anti-spam fanaticism.
I had once mentioned that my homepage had suddenly disappeared from the Google index. It has since come back on the index. I hope Google doesn’t become comparable with the official censors (of anything anywhere).
The least acceptable could be this: give me back my content and I will look for another ‘free’ service provider, or I will get a ‘non-free’ provider if I can afford it. I want access to my content, and in the case of emails, I want access to them immediately, as soon as the account is blocked. You may have the right to disable my account, but you don’t have the right to take away my content. This, of course, applies to all service providers, not just to Google.