Monday, November 4, 2013

I deleted the Google+ profiles attached to some of my accounts.

Regarding my previous blog post about Google pushing Plus, I recently went through and cleaned up my Google accounts.  I deleted a Gmail account I never really used to free up the name for someone else who might want it.  I also deleted every account's Google+ profile except for the one attached to my primary account.  Google asked me why I was deleting the accounts, and this is what I said:
I already have a Google+ account through my primary Google address.  I'm assuming this G+ profile was created because when I logged into my email something popped up and I clicked "Next" or "Continue" when I should have clicked "Skip".  This is malware-level trickery and it only results in G+ getting a horde of zombie profiles that will never be used.  If a casual Gmail user happens to see that there is a public profile out there with their names on it (that they never intentionally set up), they will feel used and violated.  Furthermore, the overall Google+ experience is marred for it's actual users, because all of these inactive accounts clutter up the site and can give the appearance at times of a ghost town.
I should add that at the time I wrote this I thought there was a way to skip the Google+ creation profile.  As I mentioned in my last post, I set up another account since and there doesn't seem to be an option to opt out.  You have to click next (which creates the profile), no other options.  It is relatively easy to delete the Plus account right after though.

Also a brief bit of mea culpa, I used "it's" when I should have used "its".  Damn it, I try, I really do...

People are talking more and more about Google pushing privacy boundaries, but I'm also worried about usability issues.  I don't want Google developing an interface as hostile as's just because people aren't using it they way Google wants them to.



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