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AbdelilaH ElKhoudri's profile photoLea Kissner's profile photopeter k's profile photoPatricia F Anderson's profile photo
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Good feature to protect the identity of teens but does this mean that they cannot participate in any public hangout?
 
wait, doesn’t this make it easy to troll hangouts ‐ ie, join to mute?
 
Can hangouts be private? As Lokesh said, does this mean they can't participate in public hangouts (like participate in political hangouts) without circling all the people in the hangout they don't know just to join? I also agree with John that this seems to make it really easy to cyber-bully teens by kicking them out of hangouts simply by joining (or worse, but having a series of people join and continuously kick the teen(s) out).

A better behavior would seem to be to block the joining person who is not part of the (extended) circles of the teen instead of kicking the teen out. This behavior implies teens are second-class citizens in hangouts and are booted if someone older and unfamiliar joins. Seems to send the wrong message to teens who are often disenfranchised in the first place (being a teen is an emotionally hard time as it is).
 
Google's refusal to add a simple ban-hammer continues to force them to add awkward, disruptive workarounds. This has to be the worst idea they've come up with yet, punishing innocent teens instead of the trolls that it's intended to protect them from.
 
Based on how I read the post, it temporarily mutes the teen's camera and mic, and gives them the choice to rejoin. If it only mutes the teen's camera and mic, that sounds to me like they can still hear what is occurring in the hangout, but again that's just my take on the wording. I honestly would like to have some of these features for myself, especially the warning about public posting. I know plenty of the people on my nearby stream don't realize they posted publicly.

I also don't consider this a punishment for the teens, but more of a "make sure you think about what you're doing" type of thing. Teens are notorious for doing things without thinking through the consequences. In most public hangouts, does a teen truly belong in the hangout? Maybe for the given Political chat example, some hangouts could be certified as acceptable for all, or even be allowed to be set up as more of a one-way conference call/ only the presenter has an unmuted camera.

If a teen wants to bypass the restrictions put on them, they will lie about their age, and from what I have seen, many of them are doing so with their parents permission (ie under 12yrs old having Facebook accounts and being "friends" with their parents.
 
+Shannon Detwiler my objection about being muted when someone else joins is that it effectively cuts the teen off from communication due to someone else's actions.

Taking another example (and due to the vagueness of the language of how this works) what if three teens are in a hangout and another friend of one of the teens joins but is not in the circles of either of the other two? Do those other two get muted and have to rejoin? What happens if there are 9 participants and 1 joins who's a friend of only 1 participant? are all 8 others muted?

It just doesn't seem to make any sense to do it this way. However if they are not kicked out unless the person joining is outside their extended circles that might not be quite as bad (though I still contend the mechanism is on its head).
 
It is impossible to reliably stop teens from opening secret secondary accounts. Parents need to accept that teens are growing up, and nothing short of an actual physical leash will ever keep them from doing things their parents disapprove of behind their parents' backs. That's just the nature of being a teen.
 
+Brion Swanson I can see both sides of that though, what if the teen was discussing something private (their address or a phone number) and someone they didn't know joined the hangout, wouldn't it be better if they were cut off? If the joiner was a bully, that is not information they need to know.
 
Exactly what +Brion Swanson said. Imagine you're a teen trying to tell something to the others in the Hangout. New people keep joining and what you're saying keeps getting cut off, so you click the button and try again, but it keeps happening... If I were that teen, pretty soon I would give up on Hangouts entirely.
 
Surely the cautious ones won't need nannying like this, and the overconfident ones will just keep rejoining regardless?
 
+Kevin Barwell I think properly educating your children about the dangers of the internet and establishing guidelines or rules to their on line behavior is the only REAL way to keep your kids safe. Sure these safeguards are good to have, but you'll never really be able to prevent a kid from doing something they want to do.
 
i like this feature, however it could be better: "You are entering a hangout with a minor already hanging out, you may not enter until the minor has added you in their circles"
 
+Shannon Detwiler, the folks at Google have repeatedly claimed Hangouts is supposed to emulate real life, and insisted that they don't want to add unnecessary complexity.

Well, in real life, try walking right up to a group of teens that you don't know who are having a private conversation. I'll guarantee you they cut themselves off. When this is necessary, teens do it naturally and fluidly on their own. A teen can see someone's face and know in an instant if it's someone they want to share personal details with and make the decision themselves.

The computer only knows whether the person is in their circles or not. It doesn't have enough information to make the decision as accurately, and it automatically cuts the teen off and then forces them to take an extra step to be heard again. It's adding unnecessary complexity to do something that teens can already do better themselves anyway.

As long as it's obvious when new people join a hangout, this "feature" is both unnecessary and disruptive.
 
+Shannon Detwiler True, you don't want "strangers" entering unannounced, but I'd propose a couple alternatives that would have the same "protections" while giving power to the teen(s) affected:

1. Alert the affected teens that Person X (who is not in their circles) wishes to join the hangout, do they approve? This could of course be very tedious in busy public hangouts so option #2 is probably better,
2. Alert the affected teens that Person X (who is not in their circles) is joining the hangout - do they (the teen) wish to remove their chat history/video/audio from the joiner?

For both options there should be an "Always do this for people who join this hangout I don't know".

This solution gives the teen ample warning, control over their interactions, and doesn't lend itself to abuse by trolls or bullies.

Edit: One point of clarification is that I'm suggesting teens (indeed everyone!) should be able to opt out of sharing their audio/video/chat with someone they don't know who's joined the hangout. Perhaps this can be accomplished already with blocks and mutes but that prevents the teen from listening and viewing someone who is sharing publicly. Opting out in this way would be like whispering to the other people in the group but not to the stranger. Is it rude? Perhaps. Does it empower the teen to control what they show/say to whom? Definitely.
bish s
 
What I understand from the pic is that the teens are not kicked out but their microphones and cameras are muted to prevent the newcomer from seeing and listening to them. A better way might have been to ask teens for their permission to allow the new comer in in the first place.
 
this is just extra...
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