Google is in hot water after banning the Google account of Andrew Spinks, the lead developer of the hit indie game Terraria. The YouTube account of Spinks’ game dev company, Re-Logic, was hit with some kind of terms-of-service violation, resulting in Google banning Spinks’ entire Google account, greatly disrupting his company’s ability to do business. After three fruitless weeks of trying to get the situation fixed, Spinks announced that his company will no longer do business with Google and that the upcoming Stadia version of Terraria is canceled. “I will not be involved with a corporation that values their customers and partners so little,” Spinks said. “Doing business with you is a liability.”
Amadeo points out in the article that a Google account ban is like an online death sentence:
A YouTube copyright claim, Google Pay transaction dispute, or TOS violation can lead to your entire online life being taken down. If you’re all in on the Google ecosystem, a Google account ban means you lose access to your entire email account; all the pictures you’ve ever taken; your cell phone service; your ability to communicate with friends and family; all your 2FA accounts; anything that uses Google OAuth; your app development business; your YouTube business and all your followers; your purchased apps, games, movies, music, and books; and all your contacts, documents, bookmarks, and notes.
The scariest part is, like with a death sentence, innocent people can be wrongly condemned, which appears to be the case with Andrew Spinks and his game, Terraria.
Of course, it’s very unlikely to ever happen, but it’s probably not a bad idea to have your passwords and 2FA through independent services. Just in case.