Google+ suggested user list stirs debate

The list may omit deserving people, create conflicts of interest and foster racial stereotypes, pundits complain.

Google+ is promoting a popularity contest of sorts that isn't sitting well with some users of the social networking service.

Google+ VP of Product Bradley Horowitz tweeted Friday that the service would be piloting a suggested user mechanism and asked people with more than 100,000 followers on Twitter to contact him.

Criticism was fast and furious.

Tech pundit Robert Scoble has said he wants off the list and San Francisco Chronicle blogger Zennie Abraham suggested the list fosters racial stereotypes.

Scoble posted 13 reasons he wants Google to remove him from its list, including Paris Hilton being on it but not other deserving people. He also said he didn't want to appear to have a conflict of interest when writing about Google. "It just isn't a well curated list and so I don't want my name associated with it," he wrote.

Abraham wrote, "The Google Suggested User List reads like the typical San Francisco Bay Area tech firm's view of the World: most of the 'interesting and famous people' are white, and if they're black, they're male rappers or athletes. Hello, Snoop Dog, Chamillionaire, 50 Cent, Dwight Howard, and Floyd Mayweather!" As TechCrunch pointed out, a similar suggested user list on Twitter has been controversial because those on it would gain thousands of followers a day, and people not on the list thought this was unjust.

To be fair, the list appears to be a work in progress and likely will change.

Horowitz followed up his announcement with another Google+ post, answering questions people are asking about the list.

He wrote, "We've seeded the list with some folks we knew were either already creating great content on Google+, and/or were known to be interesting on other systems. Consider them hypotheses we'll test. Inclusion in today's list is no guarantee of placement into perpetuity."

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesGoogleGoogle Plustwittersocial networkssocial mediainternet

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Christina DesMarais

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?