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How a Gesture Could Get Your Google+ Profile Picture Yanked 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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How a Gesture Could Get Your Google+ Profile Picture Yanked

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  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Thursday December 29, 2011 @12:05PM (#38526670) Homepage

    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.

  • by ZeroExistenZ ( 721849 ) on Thursday December 29, 2011 @12:09PM (#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"

  • by bmo ( 77928 ) on Thursday December 29, 2011 @12:17PM (#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."


  • by whisper_jeff ( 680366 ) on Thursday December 29, 2011 @12:19PM (#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.
  • by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Thursday December 29, 2011 @12:27PM (#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:The advertisers (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 29, 2011 @01:55PM (#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.

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor