Google is preparing to patch a privacy flaw in its resharing feature by letting users turn off resharing for their + posts. The company is also filtering out the social noise.
When Google Buzz launched in February 2010 it did so with
a number of privacy flaws the search engine set to fixing within days of users
complaining about them.
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is applying the same expediency to feature changes
in its new Google+
social network. One of the first includes closing a privacy
hole in its resharing feature, which should kick in next week.
Google+ users manually add contacts to Circles, or
buckets of family, friends, acquaintances, people they want to follow or
custom-crafted hub. Users sharing comments, links or videos, may choose what
Circles they want to share content with each time they post content.
Currently, Google+ users can reshare what users in their
social Circles have posted to anyone in their own Circles, which may include
people whom the original poster did not wish to see the content.
Posters can disable resharing via a drop-down menu by
clicking a small arrow in the corner of a post, but only after they have posted
their status updates, links, photos or videos. The Financial Times noticed
this flaw last week.
Kelly Ellis, a software engineer on the Google+ team,
said she and her team are working on a fix to keep any items posters wish to be
kept within Circle private -- or invisible from other users. Ellis noted in a video
to Google+ July 1:
"Commenting and sharing on posts can always be
disabled and the next time you post you'll see a tip that describes how to do
Indeed, now when users post an item, they see a pop up
under their post that reminds them: "Find a typo? Use the drop-down menu
of your post to edit or delete it. Don't want people to leave comments or
reshare it with others? You can turn that off there too."
More importantly, Ellis said that limited posts, or those
in a social Circle, will not be available for public resharing.
"And starting next week limited posts will not be
shareable publicly," Ellis said. "This is really important to us. On
google+ you should be in control of who sees your posts. On Google+ you should
be in control of who sees your posts."
Ellis also said she and her team are working on quieting some
of the noise on Google+ generated from seeing the same posts over and over
"We hear you and we're rolling out a few experiments
that display posts with activity from the people you're close to," Ellis
Unclear is how Google will define "close"
users, though it will likely use some sort of social relevancy algorithm. Gmail
Priority Inbox, for example, determines relevancy in e-mail messages based on
how often contacts interact by sending messages.
Google may gauge how much users interact with other users
on Google+ and use similar relevancy functionality to surface posts in users'
Via LA Times