Google Plus has a massive spam problem - gHacks Tech News

Google Plus has a massive spam problem

Remember Google Plus? Google's answer to Facebook that did not really meet the company's expectation even after forcing most sites and websites to integrate it in their sites?

I use Google Plus only to post links to new articles that I write here on Ghacks, but not for anything else. I have done this ever since Google Plus was introduced by Google, and got the odd comment underneath posted links occasionally.

Spam was never a big issue on the site until recently. I started to receive notifications about new comments some weeks ago that were all spam.

It was all about "videos of sexy girls", "making money by staying at home", and other posts with links designed to get users to click on those links. I never clicked on these links, and won't. I don't know what happens when you click on these links. Are web pages with lots of ads opened, with popups and popunders? Or will you run into something that is even worse? Drive by downloads, phishing, pages that exploit vulnerabilities to turn your devices into botnets?

google plus spam

The comments use similar syntax and formats all the time, and Google seems incapable of identifying the bulk of them.

While Google Plus' spam filter seems to flag some of them automatically, the bulk of spam comments slip through the cracks and appear on Ghack's Google Plus page.

Any Google Plus user can report comments, but it is unclear what happens afterwards. If you are the admin of a page, you get options to delete comments, or to "delete, report, and block" them instead.

I started to use the "delete, report, and block" option ever since the first spam comments started to appear on the Google Plus page, but nothing has really changed since then.

New spam comments appear on a regular basis, and while some get flagged automatically, many don't. Since I don't want spam comments underneath my articles, or anywhere else, I have used the option for any spam comment ever since the epidemic started.

It is clear that Google Plus is not Google's top priority project, and while Google does not kick it to the curb just yet, it seems likely that Google Plus' days are numbered. For now though, Google needs to invest resources in getting the spam epidemic under control.

Now You: Do you use Google Plus?

Summary
Google Plus has a massive spam problem
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Google Plus has a massive spam problem
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Remember Google Plus? Google's answer to Facebook that did not really meet the company's expectation even after forcing most sites and websites to integrate it in their sites?
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Bobby Phoenix said on December 27, 2017 at 2:33 pm
    Reply

    I’m always on Google+. Ever since it came out, it’s been my daily social visit site, even more than Facebook. I only see an occasional spam post from certain groups I follow, but for me about 95% of all my friends post good interactive content. To me Google+ is more interesting with fun posts and polls, and just overall better content than Facebook (or even Twitter).

    1. Soggy said on December 28, 2017 at 10:39 am
      Reply

      You nailed it Sergey, erm I mean bobby (wink), what could possibly go wrong giving google your real name, and discussing your personal life with your 3 non-employee ‘friends’ on an American corporation’s web site? Oh wait…

  2. A curious fella said on December 27, 2017 at 2:40 pm
    Reply

    I’m sorry for my excess curiosity, but the icon next to uBlock has got my attention, what’s the name of that extension please ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 27, 2017 at 2:47 pm
      Reply
  3. Luca said on December 27, 2017 at 2:46 pm
    Reply

    Google+ had always these problems. If you report abuse on Youtube, it’s processed almost immediately; while in Google+ it can take days to be analyzed and sometimes can be ignored.
    Google+ is now a low-rated website by Google itself…. sigh. :-( Maybe in future it will be closed …

    1. Anonymous said on December 27, 2017 at 3:05 pm
      Reply

      Lol sounds like the same old song, if something doesn’t meet the creators’ expectations they abandon it.

  4. Tommy Ch. said on December 27, 2017 at 3:43 pm
    Reply
  5. chesscanoe said on December 27, 2017 at 3:57 pm
    Reply

    I use Google+ to follow people that interest me, and have not noted much of a spam problem. In fact, I cannot recall any recent spam at all.

  6. Apparition said on December 27, 2017 at 4:44 pm
    Reply

    Social media in general is one of the worst things to have ever happened to the Internet, with Twitter being the worst of the lot.

    1. Dave said on December 27, 2017 at 5:38 pm
      Reply

      The Doctor: This whole world is swimming in WiFi. We’re living in a WiFi soup. Suppose something got inside it. Suppose there was something living in the WiFi. Harvesting human minds. Extracting them. Imagine that. Human souls trapped like flies in the World Wide Web. Stuck forever. Crying out for help.

      Clara: Isn’t that basically Twitter?

      Source: Doctor Who: The Bells of Saint John

    2. crambie said on December 27, 2017 at 9:38 pm
      Reply

      Yep, Facebook is worse for privacy but Twitter is a cesspit of a site.

      1. TickTock said on December 28, 2017 at 4:04 am
        Reply

        Twitter is tolerable on mobile if you use 3rd party clients that get rid of the craps pushed by twitter’s native app, desktop is entirely different matter. Facebook I avoid like plague, there’s just no way not to drown in that cesspool once you are in.

  7. Dest Bowwn said on December 27, 2017 at 6:17 pm
    Reply

    I haven’t noticed anything of the like on Google Plus. I sure hope G doesn’t shut down. Not only have I made many friends but there are so many communities that are educational as well. In fact I can’t even remember the last time I was of facebook.

  8. poe said on December 27, 2017 at 6:37 pm
    Reply

    This is not only exclusive to Google+. Many sites that use Facebook comments are also flooded with spam. I’m tired reporting them, the same person keeps spamming for day before another person take over, so now I just leave them alone.
    I bet your wordpress comments moderation page is also full of spam.

    The reason why Google+ got attacked recently maybe because the spammer realized that quite lot of people use them?

  9. Fake Account said on December 27, 2017 at 7:15 pm
    Reply

    No, because creating many accounts and then flooding any goog… alphabet service with scripts is fairly simple.

  10. slumbergod said on December 27, 2017 at 7:59 pm
    Reply

    I used it when it first came out. Actually, I was excited that there was a Facebook alternative. But very quickly, Google showed it was going to be forced on us and require integration with everything. So I stopped and deleted my account and data. Now I don’t sign up for any new Google services. They kill everything that I liked. Google Chat used to be good but they turned it into Hangouts (which sucked) and now Duo and others. Google Reader was awesome and they told us no one used RSS any more. Picasa was great then they butchered that too. What’s next? Gmail to the scrap heap? So Google Plus can go to the scrap heap where it belongs.

    1. jojo said on December 27, 2017 at 8:32 pm
      Reply

      I’ll second that! I’ve never used G+. Doesn’t work for someone like me with multiple GMail email addresses.

      Additionally, Google rarely seems to repair anything or even update much. There are many bug complaints and feature update requests about Android and various Google applications on their public forums that never get addressed.

      Hell, you could probably make a good blog writing about what problems Google was currently ignoring!

  11. Clayton Johnson said on December 27, 2017 at 9:09 pm
    Reply

    Lol. You’re complaining about spam while your ads on ghacks are trying to trick people into installing malicious apps.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 27, 2017 at 9:12 pm
      Reply

      These ads, likely, come from Google Adsense, so, please report them or let me know about them. Small sites like mine have no money for a sales team that runs the advertising side of things and rely therefore on publishers to do that. If you have a better idea, let me know.

  12. Rocky said on December 27, 2017 at 10:40 pm
    Reply

    I haven’t really noticed a spam problem on Google+ . I would be sad to see it closed down as for me I have always found the tech and scientific pages on G+ to be way ahead of the equivalent on Facebook

  13. Brian said on December 28, 2017 at 3:03 am
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    Google+ was made a core service of G Suite just this year. I daresay that is not a move for something that has foreseeable sunset. Also, they have made quite a number of updates to the platform and continue to do so. This blog post is openly derisive from open to end. I expect better from technology bloggers. I suppose that’ll teach me.

  14. AAA said on December 28, 2017 at 8:52 am
    Reply

    I use Google plus only for publishing photos; cuz I’m into photography. Other than that, it’s good for checking new memes. 😁

    P.s. I don’t even use Facebook. I had 600 friends. But the day I was moving, nobody showed up to help, so I deleted my account. 🙄

    1. Some Fatboi said on December 28, 2017 at 4:09 pm
      Reply

      This comment is friggin’ hilarious.

      Only losers, grandparents and business owners should be using facebook.

      Who in their right mind would let a person like Mark Zucker cyber bully them on a daily basis? That dude is a habitual line-stepper and gives zero-hoots about anyone else.

      Do some R&D with searches like “Why is Mark Zuckerberg a loser” or “How evil is facebook” or “WHich one is worse, Walmart of Facebook?”.. etc..etc… at least Walmart employs 100s of thousands of jobs. Be right back, I’m going to buy more FB stock.

      p.s. i can forgive my grandma and granpa because they don’t know how to turn a computer on…

  15. AAA said on December 28, 2017 at 4:35 pm
    Reply

    Soggy, you’re talking like soggy oatmeal now… 🌚
    I mean, which website/social media platform doesn’t operate without linking your phone number, date of birth and an alternative email address… pretty much all email services require a phone number during the sign up process now. So, to say giving Google your personal info is just plain right soggy crap! 🤤

    1. TelV said on December 28, 2017 at 5:01 pm
      Reply

      Judging by your style of writing I’m not surprised your 600 friends didn’t turn up on removal day to give you a hand.

      1. Some Fatboi said on December 28, 2017 at 5:11 pm
        Reply

        This guy TelV is so sensitive.

        +1 for being cool and dumping facebook like a bad habbit.

  16. A41202813GMAIL said on December 28, 2017 at 6:40 pm
    Reply

    A – G+ Is Powerful Because They Have Lots Of Communities To Discuss Events Like Sports,

    B – Users Can Create Their Own Communities,

    C – Communities Can Have An Infinity Number Of Users As Moderators,

    D – If Communities Can Not Handle Their Own Spam, They Should Be Deleted By GOOGLE On The Spot – Problem Solved.

    Meaning:

    E – You Should Create Your Own Community,

    F – Hand Moderation Authority To A Large Number Of Trusted Users,

    G – Deal With Spam Yourselves, In A 25/7/366 Basis.

    It Is Clear You Expect GOOGLE To Deal With All Of It, Without Your Intervention – Good Luck With That.

    GOOGLE FIBER WORLDWIDE, PLEASE !

    1. A41202813GMAIL said on December 28, 2017 at 6:58 pm
      Reply

      One More Thing:

      Forcing Users To Apply For Membership Should Be A Must – Thus Making It Easier To Control Which Users Enter The Community.

      GOOGLE FIBER WORLDWIDE, PLEASE !

  17. naveed said on December 28, 2017 at 10:44 pm
    Reply

    I have a similar problem with comments on blogger. Google has a serious problem losing interest in their products after the initial enthusiasm. For this reason I try to avoid using their new products to the extent possible, unless there’s no better alternative.

    1. tree said on December 29, 2017 at 2:55 am
      Reply

      That’s why I avoided Gmail whwn it was new. Glad not using it now, so they cannot know all about me.

  18. ULBoom said on December 29, 2017 at 6:48 am
    Reply

    google itself IS a massive spam problem, they promote it. At least they provide search results and can be more or less blocked from chasing you everywhere if you mod most everything in your device. fb, on the other hand, is global malware, they don’t even care if they insult their users with crummy interfaces and fifth grade reasons for not changing anything. Zuckerberg’s public persona presents as an idealistic, naive fool. Thing is, almost no one knows how the internet works, nor do they care, so they’ll keep on working unknowingly for these companies for free as advertising agents.
    I watched google, fb and twitter testify before US Congress earlier this year and none of them have a good idea what their services actually do. I mean if high powered geeks can’t answer basic questions asked by some Senator, they’re way out of their league!

  19. Googler said on January 15, 2018 at 9:56 pm
    Reply

    Yup. I’m tired of reporting G+ spam. Spam and vulgar posts and comments. And then some weird comments with names and phone numbers. Not to mention some abusive ones. Just tired of reporting, and finally stopped commenting on G Plus. If you comment on some popular post, then you are more likely to recieve spam replies. Do they ever take action? G knows! By the way, have you noticed the infinite amount of spam apps on Android app store? Many of them about sex stories and such rubbish pornography material. Even after reporting such apps, they just don’t go away. Whether no action is taken on spam reports, or they come back with a new app, G knows. (Where G is either God or Google)

  20. Googler said on January 15, 2018 at 10:00 pm
    Reply

    And you haven’t updated their new G+ social icon button ;-) (Just a joke . Many mainstream popular websites haven’t too.)

  21. Googler said on January 15, 2018 at 10:02 pm
    Reply

    Hey, that’s a cool timer to edit a comment. But why?

  22. Shannana said on May 28, 2018 at 3:13 am
    Reply

    @Martin

    Next this happens, I suggest you click on those links. Sure you may get malware or perhaps a great, new online job. Either way, you would of had more of a story that I’m sure we would all love to hear.

    BTW, I always liked G+ over the others and never had any issues. Perhaps it was a fluke or prank of some sort.

  23. Michael Macha said on July 25, 2018 at 11:13 am
    Reply

    I’m worrying that the spam problem may be unfixable. It’s not just Google+, Google+ just got big enough to be noticed. I see it on Twitter and saw it on Facebook too (though I got rid of my old Facebook account quite a while ago).

    The only arguable social network I can think of that works is an old BBS system; you have to write a letter (an actual freakin’ paper letter) to join, and you get your user name and password mailed back to you. You then have to connect to a B-B-S (look it up, kids) to access it. It’s been around for like twenty five years. I think it’s called Echo, but I could be wrong. The sheer exclusivity of the community apparently keeps it from getting out of control; but that’s just the thing. They don’t try to go global, and get every single person access to every potential reader; they don’t need to.

    I like Google+ a lot, but some evenings I’ll find all kinds of spam, off-topic videos, and flat out pornography posted on my technical forums (all of which I report), and I’m very curious about how they’re going to solve this. I honestly wouldn’t mind if I had to click one of those “I Am Not A Robot” things every time I posted anything, if I could count on it bringing us back our dignity.

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