Sunday, 26 February 2012

Google+ Censoring Profile Images


As we all already know, Google+ has been known to actively censor usernames; only real names can be used on Google+. It is however less commonly known that Google+ actively censors profile pictures too. This week, this came quite known after TechCrunch writer MG Siegler’s Google+ profile picture vanished twice. The first time it vanished; he thought it must have been a bug however when he uploaded it again and it then vanished a second time, he received the following message from a Googler:
As the first point of interaction with a user’s profile, all profile photos on Google+ are reviewed to make sure they are in line with our User Content and Conduct Policy. Our policy page states, “Your Profile Picture cannot include mature or offensive content.” Your profile photo was taken down as a violation of this policy. If you have further questions about the policies on Google+ you can visit, or click the “Content Policy” link located in the footer of Google+ pages.
The profile picture that MG Siegler uploaded was of himself with his middle finger extended to the camera. Whilst we welcome Google making the decision to censor Google+ (it’s a family friendly social network after-all!), we’re not too sure Google took the best option initially of deleting the image completely with no notification. MG Siegler wrote a blog post regarding the situation and quite rightly said:
“My problem isn’t so much with the fact that I couldn’t have a profile picture of myself giving everyone the finger — which I can and do on Twitter and elsewhere — it’s that no one bothered to tell me or warn me before they just went into my account and deleted the picture. What if this was the only place I had stored the picture?”
It’s worth double checking your profile pictures to ensure your profile picture can’t be seen as offensive or you could end up picture-less like MG Siegler.


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