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How a Gesture Could Get Your Google+ Profile Picture Yanked

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the but-it's-a-digital-messaging-platform dept.

Censorship 262

SharkLaser writes "It turns out that Google has started to remove Google+ pictures that have persons giving the middle finger in it. '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.' Google+ is supposed to be a universal social network and 'identity service,' and to allow sharing like in real life — a public venue for free expressions. Since the middle finger is such culturally-specific issue, will Google+ also start to remove things like showing the palms of your hands to people (considered an insult in Greece), showing the soles of your shoes (insult in the Middle East), and patting someone's head (an insult in Buddhist countries)? A good number of Google+ users have started to change their profile picture to include the middle finger to show support to MG Siegler, who got his profile picture removed by Google."

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Other Offenses (5, Funny)

nman64 (912054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526498)

I am offended by all pictures containing mirrors. I demand that all social networks immediately terminate all profiles featuring photographs with mirrors in them! Or displaying their captive animals they call "pets" (how abusive!) Or holding alcohol - don't they have any respect for the alcoholics they're teasing?! Then there are those photos of people grappling others. They call it hugging and try to make it look all chummy, but I can see their unbridled violence! While they're at it, they can get rid of all of those profiles with pictures of people baring their teeth - there are so many of those! There are also many profiles with pictures that are straining to look at - out of focus, poorly lit or colored, or otherwise difficult to look at. It is so very offensive for people to post such pictures. I'm sure if they remove all of these offending profiles, the social networks would be better, happier places!

Re:Other Offenses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38526538)

Since we know the middle finger will get banned, why not try to do as many of the other gestures as possible? That would help demonstrate how culturely insensitive this is and help hilight the impracticality of such actions.

Re:Other Offenses (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527354)

I for one two finger salute this idea.

Re:Other Offenses (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527386)

Indeed. It's certainly worthy of the Bras D'Honneur....

But mine is in Latin! (2)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527886)

They can't possibly remove a profile picture showing such a knowledge of culture and degree of sophistication as the digitus impudicus [wikipedia.org] .

All Photos of People are Offensive (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527912)

Since we know the middle finger will get banned, why not try to do as many of the other gestures as possible?

That should not be hard since some groups e.g. Hutterites [wikipedia.org] hold photography of people as violating religious laws....although since they are on a web site I'm guessing not many of them will notice. Which probably explains why so many pictures turn up for Hutterites when you do a Google image search since I'm sure Google would have blocked those images if asked due to their highly offensive nature.

Re:Other Offenses (5, Funny)

Quanticfx (2443904) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526822)

While they're at it, they can get rid of all of those profiles with pictures of people baring their teeth - there are so many of those!

I never smile if I can help it. Showing one's teeth is a submission signal in primates. When someone smiles at me, all I see is a chimpanzee begging for its life. - Dwight Schrute

Re:Other Offenses (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527372)

In dogs showing of teeth is a sign of aggression.

Re:Other Offenses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527484)

Depends how they're shown. Many dogs also "smile" submissively, showing their teeth - my partner has a border collie who does it all the time. I guess you'd make the same mistake some visitors do and assume he's being aggressive (the TSA teaches us that one sign can be crudely read to determine intent, after all), but the extent to which the lips are moved back, the eyes, the stance, the tail - everything else clearly differentiates it from a display of aggression.

Re:Other Offenses (1)

InterestingFella (2537066) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527736)

Who shows their teeth when smiling?

Re:Other Offenses (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527026)

And while we are at it, get rid of the duckface images. It's offensive to duck.

Re:Other Offenses (3, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527666)

I'm offended at Google's immaturity. Minors aren't allowed to have a G+ account, right? Then what's the problem with someone flipping the bird?

Jesus, Google, grow the fuck up.

Re:Other Offenses (1)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527964)

I have Anthropophobia. All pictures of people scare me. My lawyer says I should sue for a million billion trillion dollars.

The advertisers (4, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526526)

Don't like it. It damages their image.

Re:The advertisers (5, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526656)

There might be some truth to it. Or Google is looking at MySpace, and how it was derided as the social network for angsty teens who are trying to shock themselves into relevance.

I think it's simpler than that though. Google is trying so hard to make a relevant social network that it is managing it from the top down. Unfortunately, Social Networks don't work that way. The only reason people will use one is because they get some benefit from it. If the main thing they get from is constant aggravation about playing by some arbitrary rules, they are going to leave.

I would love for there to be a social network around that competes with Facebook. The reality at this point though is that Google+, despite its nifty circles, ain't it. I should be their main evangelist, but I can't endorse a social network where some arbitrary and unknown rule is going to get the entire thing yanked. Dear Google, please let me fuck up my own social network. If I can't be trusted to not put up pictures of me that aren't offensive, will piss off my boss or have my girlfriend walk out on me, then please don't try to help me. You have no idea what is acceptable for 7Billion people, and shouldn't try.

This is the kind of thing where Google ought to keep in mind the old mantra about asking for permission vs for forgiveness - keep the heavy-handed stuff for when you're successful. Kinda like Facebook.

you made me laugh (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526764)

angsty teens who are trying to shock themselves into relevance.

Re:The advertisers (0)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527106)

Dear Google, please let me fuck up my own social network. If I can't be trusted to not put up pictures of me that aren't offensive, will piss off my boss or have my girlfriend walk out on me, then please don't try to help me.

That's how I feel about seatbelts. Please do not save me from myself.

Re:The advertisers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527454)

I just want to post a picture of an old man. (mature) and see it get yanked

~SimonTek

To seatbelt person. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzvzqaicMz0&feature=related

Re:The advertisers (5, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527460)

Here's the difference: seatbelts on vs seatbelts off is a very simple situation. It's easy to figure out which one is which, easy to figure out how much each situation costs to implement and to enforce, and how much benefit each one has to those impacted by the decision.

Offensive content, on the other hand, is near impossible to police on a world-wide level. It is impossible to know who is offended by what, the number of things that offend someone somewhere is much greater than those that do not offend anyone anywhere, the policing is horribly expensive, false positives abound and the benefits gained from this approach are unknown at best.

That's why Google's approach is wrong, again. I have to admit, I'm agreeing more and more with someone else's assessment that Google is, at its core, a tech company run by techies, and therefore unable (or at least has a much harder time) to produce something that tickles people's soft underbelly and need for personal validation. They have great tools - love gmail, love maps, love their search - but those are tools. I use them, then stop using them and don't think about them until I have to use them again. Their use is strictly determined by their usefulness: if something else comes along that is better, I will switch in a heartbeat. But they suck at producing an experience - something that makes me feel fuzzy on the inside every time I use it. And quite frankly, that's what Facebook is and does: it satisfies the urge of humans to interact and be social. Until Google understands the purpose of social networks and satisfies those needs, it's going to fail with its last-ditch attempt a staying relevant in one of the most important areas of the Internet.

Re:The advertisers (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38528302)

That's how I feel about seatbelts. Please do not save me from myself.

Maybe superfluous, and certainly off-topic, but the obligation to wear seatbelts does not come from a desire to protect the driver. It's designed to encourage the correct emergency response.

What would you do if you saw a child run in front of your car? For the sake of pedantry, let's assume that "your car" describes a high-speed motorized vehicle that you're currently operating. You would brake, I hope? Now imagine that you are not wearing a seatbelt. Would you brace yourself before slamming on the brakes? Would you hesitate, even for a split second? Even though you are relatively safe in the car (especially since you can hold on to the steering wheel), that split second translates to meters more distance before full stop. Now imagine your girlfriend or child sitting in the seat next to you, again without seatbelt. Will you still hit the brakes, knowing that your passenger will hit the windshield?

That is the reason why seatbelts are not optional: they are there so you feel safe and protected enough to perform an emergency stop if you need to, without second-guessing.

V Sign. (2)

BenFenner (981342) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526550)

I assume all those reverse peace signs are offensive to the English and we'll see them all taken down too?

Re:V Sign. (-1, Troll)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526626)

Is Google an English company? no? Fuck you.

Re:V Sign. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527598)

YOUR FACE

Re:V Sign. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38526642)

The V sign is only offensive if facing backwards. Palm toward viewer = peace sign. Back toward viewer = "Piss off" gesture.

V for Victory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38526750)

Not peace sign, but victory sign.

Re:V for Victory (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527472)

http://www.ooze.com/finger/html/foriegn.html [ooze.com]

Found this thought is relevant.

I was under the impression the two finger salute had something to do with a war, where a king ordered the index and middle finger cut from all archers hands so they could no longer shoot, the sign then became an insult by showing the king you still had your fingers. Like a big "fook you"

Re:V Sign. (1)

mortonda (5175) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527582)

What does the sideways v in front of your eyes mean?

Re:V Sign. (2)

Evelas (1531407) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527746)

That you watch too much anime?

Re:V Sign. (1)

mrclisdue (1321513) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527910)

nyuk, nyuk, nyuk...wise guy, eh?

cheers,

Re:V Sign. (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 2 years ago | (#38528282)

Actualy its a F%^k you to the french - Archers showing they still had two fingers to shoot longbows at the french.

Mature content? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38526554)

"Your Profile Picture cannot include mature or offensive content."

Then, they should not have removed it. I find this to be quite immature...

in my country (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38526584)

In my country, we believe showing our genitals to others is a sign of respect. Likewise, not showing our genitals (and anus and mammaries) is offensive. To have google+ picture that does not demonstrate pubis or arsehole etc would be deeply offensive.

Gerald Oatse
Christmas Island.

Re:in my country (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527336)

Will they take down all pictures of women showing their ears and mouths and hair, too? (and some have to hide their eyes, too!)

Many years ago, a couple I was friendly with went to Morocco. They hired a driver to take them into the desert to a very remote town. The pictures they came back with were amazing. The woman (our friend) was considered rather risque, because she didn't hide her mouth. The other women in the photo all had their mouths covered, for decency. However, all the other women had their breasts uncovered, and our friend was the only one with them covered.

I think at some point, you have to just decide that the differences will be there, no matter how much censoring you do...whether it be political, religious, or cultural. Most normal people are not terribly offended by people following their beliefs and cultural norms, so long as they don't try to enforce them on others.

I can understand Google not wanting to be kicked out of other markets, besides China. But being causing your customers in the U.S. to abandon you isn't wise, either.

Why am I reminded of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

I hope you can see this, Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38526588)

I hope you can see this, Google, because I'm doing it as hard as I can [makezine.com] !

Google is an American (-1, Troll)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526600)

company, as such they remove American offensive gestures.

Someone has to create civility.

Re:Google is an American (4, Insightful)

InterestingFella (2537066) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526648)

Google is everywhere, and they have local companies too. Their headquarters might be in U.S., but you can't really say that Google is American company. Especially with the tax holes they use so they can pay less U.S. taxes.

Re:Google is an American (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526694)

company, as such they remove American offensive gestures.

Someone has to create civility.

The trouble with "$Company is a $Country company" is when that company has a large number of global clients/users. If $company starts cracking down on something only related to $country, then it opens themselves up to charges of $country specific bias.

Re:Google is an American (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38526940)

it opens themselves up to charges of $country specific bias.

So what? Is that going to cost Google any advertising revenue?

Re:Google is an American (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 2 years ago | (#38528318)

oh come on 90% of googlers have a hard time understanding there are other countries than the USA

Re:Google is an American (3, Informative)

LateArthurDent (1403947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526816)

Someone has to create civility.

Whoa, whoa. No good can come from that attitude. Who decides what is civil? It doesn't really fit into, "it's an American value" mantra, I'm sure many of the people showing their middle fingers in those pictures ARE Americans. I'm an American and I'm considering joining the profile protest even though I'm not the type of person who would throw that out there normally (and my family has my google+ info, so it's going to be annoying explaining that to the more conservative among them).

If you don't want to be associated with people who would post pictures you consider crass, don't visit their google pages. Don't go trying to "create civility" by censuring them.

Re:Google is an American (2, Interesting)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527010)

Who decides what's civil? The population and society in general. That's where our laws, ethics, and manners come from. We define it.

We also (we being every older than an angsty teenager mentally probably agree by a large majority that the finger is not really going to be missed.

Your arguing just to argue. That's not productive to anyone.

Re:Google is an American (2)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527628)

The population and society in general.

And they can still only give their opinions about what is and is not civil.

The real problem I see is that some people think they have a right to not be offended. So what if someone gets offended by the middle finger (or something else)? Will that bring about the apocalypse? I say let them be offended.

we being every older than an angsty teenager mentally

Yes. Anyone with a different opinion than you is just an "angsty teenager."

finger is not really going to be missed.

That's your own opinion.

Your arguing just to argue. That's not productive to anyone.

What is productive? Agreeing with you?

Re:Google is an American (2)

Vairon (17314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526990)

Google may have started in the US but they have offices in over 80 countries now.

An individual or group does not have to force their limited view of civility on other people. One group forcing their view of civility on others by removing pictures of self-expression is censorship. Since they are a private enterprise they are free to do this but that does not change that it's censorship.

Re:Google is an American (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527508)

Yes because we all know that the internet is the most respectful and civil meeting place in the world.

Choice? (3, Insightful)

jstg (2541828) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526606)

They caught enough flak with the making users use their real names. I can't see this going over much better. In order to compete with the Facebook's and Diaspora's you'd think they would need to take a more open minded approach to things.

Re:Choice? (5, Insightful)

RicardoGCE (1173519) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526928)

COMPETE with Diaspora? Give me a break. Diaspora is alpha software that requires users to run their own web server. It's a fucking great concept that will nonetheless never catch on with a large enough audience to ever matter to anyone but its users.

The same could be said about desktop Linux, but Linux has found plenty of life in other markets. Until Diaspora finds that niche, there's no "competition" to speak of.

Re:Choice? (4, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527578)

In order to compete with the Facebook's and Diaspora's you'd think they would need to take a more open minded approach to things.

Competing with Facebook means competing for the thirty-to-fifty crowd - and your "open minded" scheme is precisely the opposite of what attracts them. The absolute last thing Google wants is to repeat the mistakes of MySpace and LiveJournal and have a reputation as being a has-been that attracts mostly teen and young adult drama. Facebook is already getting something of that reputation with all the party pics, etc... etc...
 
Why the thirty to fifty crowd? Because, as many Slashdotters fail to realize, Facebook introduced a seismic shift in the social network paradigm - it's not just for kids anymore. Social networking is now used by a variety of businesses and professionals, and where they go, people will follow. (Though Google seems to have missed that.) Where the older folks go, the slightly less older folks will follow to stay connected. You can't build a stable social networking system on fly-by-night, short attention span, follow the fashion, teens and twentysomethings. The name of the game now is slowly grasping each demographic in turn, and building a solid base from there.
 
As far as competing with Diaspora - that's like claiming the NY Yankees are competing with the little league teams that plays down the road from me. It's laughable. As popular as Diaspora is with the disaffected Slashdot and/or techie crowd... It's meaningless in the larger scheme of things. Those enamored of Diaspora are those pissed at other networks, and they'll get pissed and move on again. They're unstable and marginal.

Some other examples of culturally specific offense (5, Informative)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526618)

(yes I know there is a lot of overlap between these sites)

7 innocent gestures that can get you killed overseas [cracked.com]

5 common american gestures that might insult the locals [matadornetwork.com]

Top 10 Hand Gestures Yu'd Better Get Right [languagetrainers.co.uk]

List of Gestures [wikipedia.org]

Will these be banned by the Google Censors as well? Or don't the Google Censors use Google to easily find lists of gestures that are culturally specific?

Re:Some other examples of culturally specific offe (2)

Servaas (1050156) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526668)

I think they used common sense for this one.

Re:Some other examples of culturally specific offe (2)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526740)

I think they used common sense for this one.

Care to define what common sense is in this case? Is it trying to grab the low hanging fruit (ie remove gestures that the censors at Google think are bad), or is realising that you can't appease everybody (and hence just forget about it)?

Re:Some other examples of culturally specific offe (2)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527412)

certainly they used the same cultural bias the poster did - I'm waiting for all female profiles who have pictures of themselves with heads uncovered to be banned. Islam seems to be getting more popular every day, and vocal, so it's only a matter of time before the Google censors bow to such "politically correct" pressure.

Google is doing that manually? (3, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526670)

Is Google doing this automatically, like face-blurring in StreetView? Or do they have thousands of low-paid employees somewhere doing this? It doesn't seem cost-effective.

Re:Google is doing that manually? (1)

Servaas (1050156) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526722)

But does it create jobs?

Re:Google is doing that manually? (1)

LateArthurDent (1403947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526840)

Is Google doing this automatically, like face-blurring in StreetView? Or do they have thousands of low-paid employees somewhere doing this? It doesn't seem cost-effective.

They probably only look at it once someone flags it as an inappropriate image.

Re:Google is doing that manually? (2)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526938)

hey probably only look at it once someone flags it as an inappropriate image.

And there's your solution: flag all images as inapropriate (... or have a script do it for you...), and it becomes prohibitively expensive for them to check them all...

Re:Google is doing that manually? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38526994)

Doesn't seem all that expensive to write a script that ignores all flags coming from your account. In fact, I bet it's already done.

Re:Google is doing that manually? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527676)

easy to expand to ignore flags coming from all accounts too!

Avoiding flagging-based attacks (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527694)

And there's your solution: flag all images as inapropriate (... or have a script do it for you...), and it becomes prohibitively expensive for them to check them all...

Simply scheduling the order of review in a way which causes people with lots of flags to get their pictures scheduled for review less frequently neatly makes it so that this attack has minimal effect on the speed with which Google can review flags of pictures by people who aren't adopting this attempt to bog the system down, without consuming substantial additional resources.

And its easy to go a step further, and include a weighting factor incorporating how reliably the users previously-reviewed flaggings were found to be pictures that Google found inappropriate so that frequent-but-accurate flaggers aren't pushed back but frequent-but-useless-to-Google flaggers are.

Given that all of this is pretty basic to effectively managing review of user-flagged inappropriate content when you have potentially a lot of content that might get flagged, whether or not you are worried about people abusing flagging as a protest against your policies, and given that Google has had facilities for flagging inappropriate content a lot longer than Google+ has been around (e.g., in blogspot), and given that this kind of data analyis and application to processes is the kind of thing Google is known for, I'd be surprised if they didn't already have something like this in place.

I removed my G+ account (5, Insightful)

TheTruthIs (2499862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526680)

Cause I had the feeling that google was giving me the finger.

Please .... (2)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526702)

... think of the children [crunkcodes.com] !

I gave up on Google+ (1)

assertation (1255714) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526704)

I gave up on Google+ and this article makes me glad I did.

Their real name policy turned me off by seeming draconian. Google's reason for it, to get more money selling my information.....made me feel victimized.

I used a fake name, with a brand new Google account anyway, but I found it to be a pain in the ass to log out of my primary gmail account just so I could check Google+.

On top of all of that 99% of my FB friends didn't want to get on.....or regularly use G+ on top of FB.

So, I just post to FB less, don't use G+ at all and am waiting for diaspora to eventually get its act together.

Completely reasonable (3, Informative)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526712)

They want profile pics to be inoffensive. The middle finger gesture is offensive, and intentionally so. They're not going to remove things that might offend specific foreigners because those foreigners make up a vanishingly small segment of their user base. To complain about this seeming contradiction is to commit a line drawing fallacy.

Re:Completely reasonable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38526808)

so, what you're saying is that the fig is ok?

Re:Completely reasonable (2)

InterestingFella (2537066) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526972)

They're not going to remove things that might offend specific foreigners because those foreigners make up a vanishingly small segment of their user base. To complain about this seeming contradiction is to commit a line drawing fallacy.

Actually, non-US people make up majority of the worlds population. Should they remove anything that can offend someone somewhere? Because then we have nothing there.

Re:Completely reasonable (2)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527092)

Way to commit the EXACT fallacy that I just said you would commit. Hey, let's try it in the other direction... "If they can't disallow offensive content, then should they allow child porn?" It's no less absurd then thinking that disallowing the middle finger means they have to disallow all content.

And who cares what the global demographic is? What matters is the google+ demographic, which is predominantly American, with a bunch of Indians, Canadians, and British thrown in. The Muslim membership is miniscule. However, if there were an Iraqi version of the site in which the membership was predominantly Iraqi, it would make sense for them to allow middle fingers but disallow the soles of shoes.

Re:Completely reasonable (1)

InterestingFella (2537066) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527358)

And who cares what the global demographic is?

Like I just said, Google does. They want to compete with Facebook and be the largest social network on planet. Their demographic is the whole planet, not just U.S.

Re:Completely reasonable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527136)

How did you miss the part where he said "user base"? If the vast majority of my customers are from one part of the world, who says I can't design my service to cater to them specifically? The advertisers that pay for it probably -expect- you to do this.

Re:Completely reasonable (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527684)

"Reasonable" is subjective.

Again, so what if people get offended?

The middle finger gesture is offensive

Certainly not to me. I don't advocate removing things that are offensive to the majority for the sole reason that they are offensive to the majority.

Re:Completely reasonable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38528132)

It isn't the finger, it is a Hawaiian good luck symbol. At least that is what the crew of USS Pueblo said in North Korea. http://www.webcitation.org/5t7qPfttm

Go cry to your mother (3, Interesting)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526718)

This is a very good policy to keep up the atmosphere in G+ and not deteriote so a myspace or facebook.

It's another universe, if you want to put up "immature" material, don't go on G+. It's the same as with the Android store or AppStore of IPhone: "you are offered a free platform. But the platform is defined for you. IF you want to express yourself outside of the set boundaries, take your expression onto yourself and your own platforms/tools"

Re:Go cry to your mother (2)

kaizendojo (956951) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526826)

Agreed. Start a social network of your own, pay for the servers, staff and bandwidth. Fill it with angry techs who rant about freedoms on a platform they pay nothing to join. They can call it.... slashdot

Re:Go cry to your mother (2)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527118)

This is a very good policy to keep up the atmosphere in G+ and not deteriote so a myspace or facebook.

And who doesn't love an atmosphere of censorship and intrusiveness? Don't you dare flip anyone off or use a pseudonym! The all-important advertisers don't like it!

Re:Go cry to your mother (2, Insightful)

InterestingFella (2537066) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527146)

Sure, but Google wants to be competitor to Facebook and have the largest social network on the planet. This means they have to accept stuff that is "immature" too. And that's not even counting the cultural issues.

Meh (0)

Dega704 (1454673) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526782)

It doesn't bother me too much because I think giving the middle finger in your pic demonstrates a total lack of class, but it isn't exactly Google's place to regulate people making buffoons of themselves.

Glad I never signed up for this POS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38526812)

Google: just another spineless, moralistic company

They really can go pound sand. (3, Interesting)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526834)

While I dislike Facebook, it has one thing going for it:

They don't do anything if nobody reports you. They don't actively seek out non-compliant accounts unless you are under 13 and are dumb enough to put in your real age. They don't care.

I can quietly be myself under my assumed name.

Facebook rapes your account for demographics.
G+ rapes your account for demographics.

Pick your poison.

I am on both, but G+ lays fallow because G+ doesn't have anything that motivates me to move everything over to G+. The last brouhaha with real names turned me off. Active censorship of accounts like this also turns me off.

As a side note, I didn't look, but I expect ESR to be licking Google's boots on this subject too, as it applies to his "civility" and "hotgirl69 problem."

--
BMO

Google+ still exists? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38526858)

I thought it was scrapped after the beta was finished.
Oh, wait, it's a google product, so the beta will never finish.

BTW:
I'm offended by people with two eyes, so please remove those pictures too.

Don't like it, Don't use it (4, Interesting)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526876)

It's Google's business - they can run it however they want. If you walk into a McDonalds and start swearing and cursing out loud, I think it's reasonable _and expected_ to be escorted off the premises. Google is simply doing the same thing, just on the internet. And here's the important part: If you don't like it, don't use it. Easy. Stop bitching and complaining - if you don't like their product, don't use it. Move on.

Re:Don't like it, Don't use it (2)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527094)

I suppose the difference is that you'll be escorted off the premises if someone complains. If no-one has a problem with it, what's the problem?

Google, unfortunately, takes the approach usually preferred by dictatorships and fanatic groups where they decide what is and isn't allowed and then enforces it, regardless of whether the common userbase (or populace) has a problem with it.

The argument of "don't like it don't use it" starts to fall apart when the service becomes large enough. For example, you may not like Facebook, but refusing to use it locks you out of the service that all your friends use - which is counter-productive. In such cases it is better to demand change. I think that all these services should become regulated when they reach a critical mass to prevent abuse from the owning corporations. If the corps don't like it, they should foster serious competition instead.

Re:Don't like it, Don't use it (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527154)

As you said it's business, and it's bad business for Google. That's the whole point of complaining. You write a complaint to a company to tell them that you care enough about an issue that you are willing to give them the chance to know why you are angry, instead of just walking out the door without an explanation. I don't agree in whining just to whine, but it's perfectly fine to critique actions from a company.

Re:Don't like it, Don't use it (3, Insightful)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527734)

The fact that they can do it doesn't mean they're exempt from criticism.

thumbs up is also offensive in some cultures (1)

karuna (187401) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526884)

In Ukraine showing thumbs up with your hand is considered obscene due to some vague reference to erected penis. I have been reprimanded for showing it by older Ukrainians. I think that younger people no longer care about this though.

Wikipedia also mentions that it is also offensive in Iran but I have no direct experience about it.

This is why Google+ is failing (1)

jonfr (888673) | more than 2 years ago | (#38526964)

This is why Google+ is failing now. Like other Google Serveries they maintain ridicules rules on what can and cannot be done. This rule problem is in all Google serveries, not just in Google+. This is also why Google+ is now failing. Because once Google+ removes your profile picture. People often remove there Google+ profile, for good.

Re:This is why Google+ is failing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527674)

400 million users plus is considered a fail now? "Serveries" sounds more like a fail to me....

Re:This is why Google+ is failing (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#38528392)

Google+ does not have 400 million users.

Unclothed women (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527074)

Its about time someone started censoring pictures on the Internet! Did you know you can find pictures of unclothed females? Infedels! Women should never be seen in a picture in such a state! Women should only wear a burka and never show their face! What is this world coming to when women post photos of uncovered faces?

Now I'm of to blow up a Jew.

(boom)

Damn it, they are all WOW players!!!

stop the typical /. nonsense (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527114)

Offensive is not what you or somebody else find offensive. It's a statistically determined measure, determined by number of complaints (whether actual or predicted).

Number of complaints is determined by number of g+ users who could be offended by gesture, number of people who used that gesture and how overlapping those sets are.

The gesture will become an issue only if the complaints will be vocal. Nobody removes anything nowadays for theoretical considerations.

So stop bringing your theoretical examples. This should be actually made an online offense: using theoretical arguments.

Re:stop the typical /. nonsense (1)

InterestingFella (2537066) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527404)

So do you also support banning gays because many have irrational problem about them?

In certain states it's also against the law (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527174)

I was recently stopped by a local police officer here in Texas because he thought he saw me shoot the finger at another driver ( I didn't but have from time to time ) . He informed me that it was against the law to make offensive gestures. I had never heard this so I did a little digging and discovered it was in fact...law. But these laws often use loosely defining terms like "offensive gesture". Well any gesture can be offensive depending on who interprets it. Perhaps that's why Ashley Esqueda has had a middle finger profile pic the last week or so but changed it today.

Re:In certain states it's also against the law (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527840)

Apparently if a majority of people find something offensive, it should be banned regardless of whether or not it inflicts any tangible harm upon them. I know these are Google's servers and they can do pretty much anything they want, but that doesn't exempt them from criticism.

Learn to play well with others or suffer. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38528036)

Feel free to criticize Google for doing it but it's part of being a grown up. I for one support our Google overlords.

Fuck Google + (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527188)

with a rusty meathook.

A better solution (3, Insightful)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527306)

Photoshop any hand pictures to remove the offensive finger. Who care if they have 4 fingers on each hand? Or, technically, 3 fingers and a thumb.

29/12/2011 (1)

Severus Snape (2376318) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527426)

The day Google lost the social networking game.

Autodetection? (1)

JDG1980 (2438906) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527432)

So, are Google staff going through and flagging these manually, or do they have some kind of algorithm to detect whether a photo has a raised middle finger in it? I wouldn't be surprised if it was the latter, considering this is Google we're talking about. It opens up some interesting new Image Search possibilities...

MG Siegler (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527548)

MG Siegler is a known self proclaimed apple "lover" and also an anti google troll. Take his words with a grain of salt. He's also the main reason I don't read TechCrunch.

What is offensive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527636)

I find it offensive when girls make a duck face. I don't find the middle finger to be offensive.

Thumbs up on that one! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38527710)

:-))

so, are crucifixes OK or not then? (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 2 years ago | (#38527848)

because some people could be offended by others wearing them... don't laugh... this PC crap is infesting everywhere these days... Google, you idiots, you've opened yourself up to every fringe nut group with an axe to grind to complain about items in profile pictures that they find offensive...
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