Thursday, February 07, 2013

Disable viz. Delete Google+ Content or Delete a Google Profile

Google+ is a badly designed social networking alternative to Facebook that is equally fraught with the invasive violation of privacy rights via a virtually incomprehensible and unnecessarily complex jumble of opt-ins and opt-outs and we have just also deleted our Google plus content.

We had to go to CNET and Ed Rhee's article to discover how to delete a Google+ account.

The links we used -- this may not work for you, we can not guarantee it will work, were:

https://www.google.com/settings/plus

At the very bottom of that page, barely discoverable is a link to disable Google+ at the sentence:

"You can disable Google+ (or delete your entire Google profile) here."

The link at "here" above takes you to
https://plus.google.com/u/0/downgrade/
where you can either
  • Delete Google+ content
which removes access to Google+, while Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, and other useful Google services remain untouched, e.g. photos uploaded via Picasa to blogs, etc.

(or you can completely)
  • Delete your entire Google profile
which is not advisable if you use other Google services, because it may deny you access to useful services such as Gmail etc.

Google+ is designed so that you are virtually forced to use the social networking service, even if you do not want it, and this begins with the fact that the misleading term "You+" is the first menu item on Google's menu bar of services WHEN you do not use it (!) or have opted out of it (!). I would like Google to remove that from that location at the menu bar.

The You+ is replaced by Google+ if you -- as in our case --to find out what happens when you click it -- click "Upgrade" -- which already opts you into Google+ without you knowing that is what "upgrade" means. Since when does clicking an "upgrade" button automatically operate to "opt in" to a service when it is not clear what the conditions of upgrade are.

That camouflaged "opt-in" is followed by a string of linked pages that operate to lock the user into the networking system. If you want to get out, you have to waste time searching around to find out how you can get out of Google+.

Leaving Google+ is a process which Google has made nearly as difficult as in Facebook, because there is no direct link or menu item for disabling or deleting the service at Google+ pages.

Rather, you have to go to the round "gear tool button" way over on the other side of the website page, quite a stretch for those having a 24-inch screen, click that, and then click numerous times after that before you can opt out of anything.

Again, as in the case of Facebook, we find that be clear, intentional fraud on the user, since "opting in" is made one-click easy, and almost imperceptible, while "opting out" is not even a part of Google+ pages but is tucked away at another location where an inexperienced user will find it only with difficulty.

One role of the law as a normative process of society is to put a stop to that kind of thing everywhere on the Internet. Legal opting-out should be just as easy as legal opting-in. Anything else is intentional fraud on the user.


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