Ping (zestyping) wrote,

My Google+ profile has just been suspended for having an unusual name.

If you would like to help me get it unsuspended, please post a note here to help provide evidence that "Ping" is the "name [my] friends, family or co-workers usually call [me]" (as it says in the User Conduct and Content Policy). If you are comfortable identifying yourself and your relationship to me, that would help too. Thanks!

Edited to add: Thanks everyone! I'm sure we'll get this sorted out right quick.

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July 23 2011, 23:54:44 UTC 9 years ago

Okay, so I guess Ping's technical real name is "Ka-Ping", and that's cool, too, but I've known him as "Ping" (and occasionally and humorously as "The Machine That Goes PING") since 1992. We attended Shad Valley (nerd camp) in the same year, 1992, and then attended the University of Waterloo together starting in 1994 (or maybe I started in '94 and Ping started in '95. Whatever.). So that's almost 20 years of friendship.
It would be sad if I started having to call Ping by some made-up pedestrian name, like Ronald, just so that he could have a Google+ Profile to match his name.
And for the record, Ping is very zesty.
Christa Mullaly, MD, Obstetrican-Gynecologist, and Ping friend
Fredericton, New Brunswick



July 24 2011, 00:11:43 UTC 9 years ago

I've known Ping since last year, it is indeed his real name. :)

Re: Ping


July 24 2011, 01:10:31 UTC 9 years ago

I met Ping (Ka-Ping!) this year, but everyone I know, even those who've known him far longer, calls him Ping! In the past he's been a volunteer for a non-profit I work with, I find this particularly quirky since Ping works for Google. Also see: See:

Desiree D. Dudley
Director, Foresight Nanotech Institute

Yup. Ping is indeed Ping.

Dear admin team of Google+,

My name is David Molnar ( ; , phone number on request). I am a Researcher at Microsoft Corporation in Redmond, WA 98052 , building 99 office 2869. I reside in Seattle. Prior to that I lived in Oakland, CA from 2008 to 2009, in Berkeley, CA from 2003 to 2008, Cambridge, MA from 2002 to 2003, and New York, NY from 2001 - 2002.

I have known Ping since roughly 2003, when we met at the Friends of O'Reilly camp at the O'Reilly offices in Sebastopol, CA. At that camp he led at least one session on his "petname" tool, giving his name as "Ping" and being addressed by others as such. Later, I saw Ping go on to be part of the founding of the BAR camp, an unconference open to all in distinction to the invite-only policy of Friends of O'Reilly; this also saw him referred to by the name "Ping."

I had heard of Ping before that thanks to his work in systems for finding people after a crisis, which came to my attention in the immediate aftermath of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attack, when I and several of my friends living in New York used it to let others know that we were safe and to check on our Internet-connected loved ones. When Ping publicized his work on 11 September, he signed the e-mail "-- ?!ng." To avoid misunderstanding: the ? character here stands for P and the ! character for !, so the signature clearly indicates his identification by the name "Ping" --

We shared the same PhD advisor, David Wagner, at the University of California, Berkeley. From roughly 2005 to 2009, I interacted with Ping about once per week in the context of graduate school and slightly less frequently in a social context. (Dates are approximate.)

Every single person whom I observed interact with Ping in a familiar way during those referred to him as "Ping." This includes myself, my officemates, our advisor, and our mutual friends (further pointers available upon e-mail to

During this period, Ping was active in multiple areas of research in computer science, including human-computer interaction, web security, the theory and practice of capabilities in computer security, and electronic voting. I interacted with Ping at conferences in areas where our research overlapped, such as USENIX Security and IEEE Security and Privacy. In his personal interactions at this time, he went by the name "Ping." Please note that while his research papers may list "Ka-Ping Yee" as the name, it is not uncommon in computer science research for someone to use a more formal, longer, or otherwise different name for the purposes of publication than is employed for daily use.

For example, this reseach paper from the WWW conference lists "Lawrence Page" as an author
but the person appears to prefer being known as "Larry" Page and even has a Google+ profile with this shortened form of the name

Later, I observed Ping give a PhD defense that put the presentation skills of every single other talk I had seen that year to shame. This includes faculty candidates for positions at UC Berkeley and presenters at the O'Reilly Emerging Technologies conference. At that presentation, Ping was introduced as "Ping" and referred to as "Ping" by his advisor and by members of the audience.

I certify that the above is true to the best of my knowledge. I also certify that I am under no duress or enticement to write the above.

To sum up, Ping is known by the name "Ping" to a wide variety of people and addressed as such in his daily life. Google+ should reinstate Ping's profile and help him continue being a forceful, articulate, ridiculously and lovely positive force for good in the world. (Not to mention an excellent ambassador for Google+..!)

-David Molnar
UC Berkeley MS '06 PhD '09
Harvard College AB '02-'03
Seattle, WA 98102

I would be very happy to identify you as Ping. You are in fact my favorite ping, easily surpassing both the duck and the verb.

What about the networking tool? :)


9 years ago

I met Ping well over a decade ago now, as a graduate student at Berkeley. He was introduced to me as Ping; I have always called him Ping, and I cannot recall ever hearing him called anything else-- other than the occasional term of endearment, I suppose. It seems a bit late in the game for google to decide he needs a new name now.

Sarah Torpey


July 24 2011, 04:41:32 UTC 9 years ago Edited:  July 24 2011, 04:43:57 UTC

Ping has been an awesome friend for years and also a former roommate - everyone knows him as Ping! Google, really?! Why does this matter? Shouldn't Google have to petition your parents to rename you to a Google-acceptable name?
I have known Ping for... 5? 6? years now, under a number of relationship titles including acquaintance, friend, campmate, boyfriend, ex-boyfriend and Generally Awesome Person. I've never known him to use any name other than Ping, except perhaps the occasional term of endearment .

~ Liz Etler
I last saw Ping 16 years ago, but from the photo, he appears to be the same guy.
Yes, he is quite definitely Ping. Not necessarily the one and only, but the only Ping I know.


July 24 2011, 17:41:27 UTC 9 years ago

I've known ping since 2000 and I had no idea that ping wasn't his "real name".
I have met Ping in real life in tech circles, at unconferences and hackathons. I hope Google comes up with a better way of handling suspected TOS violations rather than pre-emptive shutdowns.
I have met Ping in real life in tech circles, at unconferences and hackathons. I hope Google comes up with a better way of handling suspected TOS violations rather than pre-emptive shutdowns.

Adina Levin
Do you have any emails from Larry/Sergey/Marissa where they address you as Ping? Screen shot that.
Ok, so I do know that your formal name is Ka-Ping, but I don't know if I've ever heard somebody call you that unless they didn't know you.

Re: Who is Ka-Ping


9 years ago

Dear Google, please stop being nym-bullies. Ping is definitely a Ping.

Also I tried adding a ☃ to my name in protest and they've apparently blocked that :(
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