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Google+ Makes Tremendous Progress, But a Minefield Awaits

It should come as no surprise that Google+ has expanded at a rapid pace.  Already, in just a few months, Google+ has expanded to 13 million users.

With any new social media service, like with present ones, problems are abound.  First, how does the service prevent it (or at least discourage) from being a playground for predators and defamers?  Google took one important step recently by announcing that Google+ will not allow the use of pseudonyms.  This is an important first step.  By not allowing pseudonyms, Google is peeling away one layer used by defamers and predators on the internet.

Not surprisingly, this development was not met with joy by celebrities, because many of them use pseudonyms instead of their real name.  Also, many ordinary people had their accounts suspended who were not using pseudonyms at all.  It is clear that the algorithm Google is using is not perfect and some people will unfairly be targeted.  That pain, however, is a small price to pay.

Google+ is in its infancy.  There will be missteps and issues and lawsuits.  To keep your rights and responsibilities clear, I recommend reading Google+’s Privacy Policy and Content and Conduct Policy.  They are both readable and short. One important thing of note in Google+’s Content and Conduct Policy is Google’s ban on impersonation.  I have seen cases where a victim (whether it be a company or individual) is being impersonated by another, causing immeasurable harm.  I just hope, Google will have an easy way to contact them if something like that occurs.

And of course, some things have yet to be answered:

  • How will Google handle defamation claims?
  • How will Google respond to claims of abuse by other users?
  • Will Google change its privacy settings if they sense a business opportunity (like Facebook)?
  • Will Google enforce other people’s/company’s copyrights and trademarks?

Stay tuned.

Coming soon: my take on businesses lining up to be a part of Google+.

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One Comment Post a comment
  1. hotshot bald cop #

    I agree 100%

    September 3, 2011

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