Content Controls

How do you make sure unwanted content doesn't show up in your stream?

1) We could keep using the tools Google currently provides – uncircle and move on; ignore; block; report. But these tools are not currently preventing unwanted content.

2) Google could provide a "safe search" option for Google+. If you think that works on Google Search (we think it does), then that's one way of filtering mature content in your stream.

3) Google could provide user filtering tools. How would that work? Well, let us explain...

When you make a post today, you have to choose who you want to see it – public, circles, individuals. We all love that feature about Google and it feels natural.

However, imagine that there were also a few check boxes to mark your content – [ ] Safe, [ ] Moderate. [ ] Mature, [ ] Gore and [ ] Violence. Well, you get the idea.

Now, we put a lot of check boxes in our example, but that's just to show you the possibilities within this idea. Fewer check boxes would be more practical. We could start with just [ ] Safe. [ ] Moderate, [ ] Mature.

For this to work, every user on G+ would have the same check boxes on their profile. On the entire profile (never see that content type), on a circle (never see that content type from this circle) or on individuals (never see that content type from this person). It's the user’s choice.

And the really smart part is, Google can make some of the choices mandatory. You're under 18? No mature content or violence for you. You're from Iran? No mature content for you. You're not from the US? No Google Music for you. Etc., etc.

Of course there will be users who won't use the system responsibly. If you receive unwanted content, you can report it just like today and Google would give that user a warning. If the user doesn't respond to the warnings, Google could mark that user profile [√] Mature permanently. And, of course, you still have the option to uncircle, ignore, block – just like today. But a fairly simple content filtering system gives you much more control over the content you receive.

It’s a win-win for everybody – users and Google.

This system has several benefits:
– Chance of unwanted content in your stream will be reduced to a minimum, if none at all.
– You control your own content.
– Users could post the legal content they want.
– Fine art stops being censored for nudity.


davidghawkins said...

This is an excellent proposal. It is very similar to what Flickr has, and that's working well.

Bryan said...

Glad you like it. We feel it's reasonable and provides flexibility for each user, no matter what you do or don't want in your stream.

Derek Visser said...

very useful, i like the checkbox idea, there could be more options, such as queerfriendly, genderdiverse, ideologicalkneejerkfreezone, opemindedaboutpowerexchange, femaleledrelationship,matriarchyfriendly, techzone, ecozone, programming, makerzone, for nutanadbolts prototypers,

Elizabeth govindaraj said...

Thank you for this proposal, it is much needed and the only sensible thing to do.

grilldos said...

I've made a Goop post with my thoughts on this: