The seventh circle of hell: AKA Google+
Unless you work for Google and have to pretend that it’s actually a thing, most people think Google+ is just a tumbleweed-strewn place full of empty circles and blank space.
But unfortunately, the social network that nobody but SEO people really care about is now being taken over by more sinister forces, according to a tech industry whistleblower.
Internet action group Consumer Watchdog then carried out its own study, which confirmed the findings. They say that Google+ has become ‘a virtual playground for online predators and sexual explicit content.’
In an open letter to Google boss Larry Page, Consumer Watchdog accused Google of allowing the social network to go bad due to a ‘fundamental design flaw that we believe presents substantial privacy vulnerabilities for users.’
The main problem with Google+ is that a user can add someone to their circle without them actually agreeing to it. Then they can’t be removed from that circle, regardless of whether you want to be associated with them. So if Porny McBrawny adds you and starts posting pictures of him frottaging a horse, you’re stuck with it.
The site has been independently monitored since March, and Consumer Watchdog claim that thanks to Google’s lackadaisical privacy settings, pornographic content is being posted to drive traffic to dodgy sites. And shockingly, they even claim that Google+ Suggestions is practically a paedo introduction service, blithely directing users who have posted pornographic images of children - or who are known sex offenders - to young people and teenagers.
Apparently Google+ members have been complaining about this since the beginning. If it’s all true, surely it's time to get the Google police on the case – or shut it down.