Comment – Google+ And Spam

By allowing strangers to comment on posts is going to spoil Google+ for the average user.

Facebook is generally a private affair, Twitter a public one. Google+ appears something in between the two and that could be why it will not work for the vast majority of people. The problem is the one that is nearly as old as the internet itself: spam.

On Facebook spam is not a problem. At worst there are friend requests you have to ignore, invites to events and groups that are of no interest and notifications that Bobby has grown another chicken in his farm. Apart from causing a few social conundrums spam on Facebook does not bother us.

Twitter, on the other hand, is full of spam. Not quite as much as the average email in-box or blog comment section, but spammers pop up and get put down at a rapid rate and while they are active they send out many direct comments to real account holders offering links to dubious, and most likely dangerous, web sites.

Google+ began suffering from the same problems within a month of it being launched. As with other services spammers are banned quickly and on the whole the service has not suffered too much. That was in a time when the only way to get an account was via an invite. Now things have changed; Google+ is open to everyone and the spammers are flooding in.

Some have suggested that this is all part of the plan and it may well be, but it is not the only concern for the average internet user. The bigger problem may well end up being comments from strangers.

It is perfectly possible to use Google+ in a similar way to Facebook, keeping all updates limited to only a close circle of friends. These can not be seen by anyone else and only those people you have chosen can comment on them. The problem with route is that it turns the service into another Facebook clone. Most Google+ users want to send out some updates for all to see and so mark them as public, treating it like a Twitter and like Twitter it is expected that anyone will comment on what has been said. The difference is that with Twitter comments from people who are not a close friend, what is said is only visible to the originator of the post. On Google+ such comments are available for all to see.

To suffer seeing the odd spam comment that has got through the filter is accepted when reading a blog post. The same is true on Google+ plus. But do you really want to read a bunch of comments that are pointless and unrelated to an update by a friend, that are possibly even provocative, and that are not going to get reported because they come from a legitimate account? Comments can be deleted, users can be blocked, but taking such action on the internet can often result in a flame war, or, in G+ terms, death by a thousand private shares.

This open comment system is great of public figures, but I suspect the rest of us will decide that effort is too great and return to whence we came.