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I have changed my setting to +M Sinclair Stevens ' recommendation, below. So, if you aren't on my circle you no longer can see who I'm following. I've done that for a few reasons.

1. To help make the system more spam resistant (I notice that on Twitter bots auto follow who I'm following).

2. To make it harder for astroturfing and bad actors (er, trolls) to get into every conversation.

But, what do you think? Does this help or hurt the system?
M Sinclair Stevens originally shared:
Build it and the Trolls will Come
If you've been involved in any passionate discussions on G+ lately, you might have noticed that the trolls have arrived. Currently their mode of operation is to circle people with whom they disagree, cut and paste their garbage message on every public post those people make, and scrape those people's contacts and then follow their friends -- which enables them to insinuate themselves into any conversation that the person they're trolling is reading.

Edit Your Profile
The safest thing to do is hide the list of people who you follow from "Anyone on the web". You can also select which of your circles are visible. (See screenshot.)

I suggested this a couple of weeks ago when the extended circle spam began. I know we all like to share and to see who someone is following because 1. we can see if we have anyone in common, and 2. we can discover new people to follow. But once a troll starts harassing you and your friends, your options for dealing with him are very limited.

Sharing a post publicly gives read permissions to the world. Thus blocking does not (and should not) prevent anyone from reading a public post. If the post is yours and you've blocked someone, this should prevent the person you've blocked from doing two things:
1. Commenting on the post.
2. Seeing the post in his stream even if he has added you to his circle. He can still go to your Profile page and see the post -- just like anyone on the Internet (even if they don't have a Google+ account) can do.

Blocking indicates that you do not want to interact with this person on your posts or see them in your stream. It is not the same as reporting someone for a violation. All the Republicans in America could block all the Democrats in America and all it would mean is that they didn't want to listen to them.

Shutting Down Comments
However, once a person has commented on a post (before you discover that they are a troll and block him), you cannot revoke his read/write permissions on that post. You choices at this point are pretty onerous.
1. Block him.
2. Shut down comments on the post.
3. Delete his comments.
4. Reshare the post.
Yes, I know the discussion will be cut in half and that people in the original discussion won't know about the redirect (unless you edit the original post to tell them). But once a troll has trashed your post, it's trashed.

Limited Sharing
Sharing only to our circles is a pretty unpalatable suggestion to most of us in these early days of Google+. We are still using the discovery tools to find and build an audience. If we wanted to remain in the confines of a closed system, we'd stick with Facebook or LiveJournal. If this is our only option, then the trollers and spammers will rule the Public posts and the rest of us will live in enclaves. It's impossible to "get the message out" if we can't post publicly.

Community Blacklist
When you block someone, you prevent them from commenting only on your posts, not posts of the people you interact with. Ultimately, it is up to the person who shared the post to block the troll, not you. So talk with them.

You might want to create a blacklist which you share with a select circle -- so your friends have a heads up on who to block before the troll attacks. Remember, once a troll is in a conversation, you cannot revoke read/write permissions for that post.

Abuse of Power
Being obnoxious or irritating or having a dissenting opinion is not against the terms of service. I keep reading comments that we should be able to block, shut out, and report people who invade our social networking "space". As long as that space is a public forum, you can't really want that to happen -- or else those same strategies will be applied to shut down your opinion.

Let the Right One In

Extended Circles Spam and How to Stop It
Peter Day's profile photoMelissa Reyes's profile photoLiane Allen's profile photoErkki Juurus's profile photo
Originally this concept made it easy for me to connect with like minded people. Now that the trolls are becoming more prevalent, it makes sense.
Oh that's what you mean by "bad actors". I thought you meant, literally, lousy performers. Seriously. Sheesh :-)
I think it's a good move, but the only question is: how do you define what a troll is? For most people, it's anyone that disagrees with them in the slightest.

And, let's be honest, Robert - I was on G+ day 1. Ergo, trolls were on G= day 1 :3
I think the trolls will find us no matter what we do (but we can do our best to prevent them) :)
Trolls are everywhere these days. If only something can be done about them
It depends on how many your are following Robert. When I first started on G+ I did look to who you were following to get ideas on who to follow. But if you are now following hundreds, the utility of doing what I did is lessened.
I completely understand the motivation behind this move, but it takes away one easy resource (for me anyway) to identify new people to follow through people who are already in my circles.
Lucai J
I think in an open system it''s a trade off, in my case it's beneficial to people i've brought on here from facebook to see who i follow and get a start on the site and get a good experience right off the bat. In your case i could see it being negative if you're followers are subjected to bots, so i think it's a case by case basis and not one philosophy will work for everyone.
I have all Circles Private, But then you dont show up in "Most Circled" Charts! I'm the YouTube Live Broadcaster, with the Embedded Live Videos Right in Google+ Streams.
For my part I use the following on someone I like associated with a group (say TWiT) to find out other interesting people to follow. shrug But that's only really useful when that individual isn't following, uhm, thousands.
Not a huge fan of shutting down features to prevent troll abuse, but in your case, I think it makes sense. But does this skew the opinions that you'll ever see in conversation when you make it harder for those who disagree (not just the trolls) to find those conversations? Just a thought.
Went to make this change ... but quickly realize that's the way it was from the beginning. :)
Good to know. I have this selected now.
Aschew obfuscation and you'll have wondrous pomposities. :)
Yes agree - a sad but true situation
Another approach would be to create a Circle for people you who you think are worth following (and who won't mind if other people know that) and then make only that Circle visible.
Bad actors? Why would you want to keep +William Shatner from getting in on your conversations. ducking
this is nice, as you wrote is pretty useful to avoid spam....
Wise decision, I certainly don't blame you.
Aaaw there goes my spambot program :)
+Robert Scoble It would be great if G+ could make a secure way to follow or import shared circles, similar to following public lists on Twitter. That would save the hassle of following a whole list of people one by one.
I quit twitter then it became impersonal. I'd like to see G+ be more about the chance to connect. If it gets harder to connect, people won't come here. On the other hand, you've got so many people folliwing you, it's a full time job to really connect.
+Robert Scoble And so realities begin to intrude on G+ and the comparisons to "a better Twitter" will certainly slow. It's too bad the current social networks eschew the concept of negative feedback (-1, killfiles, dislike, etc.) because that sort of feedback (subject to their own abuse patterns, yes) could drive off the trolls while not breaking the new connections model.
+Robert Scoble in relation to your 'who to follow' mega list, you might want to check out . I am currently rolling out curated groups which will allow you to easily maintain and share such a list. One bonus my site has is the ability to see people you have circled (if logged in) which makes adding people from the groups a little easier to manage. Unfortunately the very option you disabled is what I use to identify this!
+Robert Scoble, I think +M Sinclair Stevens makes a lot of great points in the post you shared with us.

Banishing a troll from within a post would be a nice feature. Like, I banish thee, Sir Troll A Lot, from this thread for now and evermore. That might even be nice in addition to blocking someone in a general sense. So, like, you could banish your mom from commenting on a photo or something without dropping her entirely. But also the people who add poison to an otherwise good thread could be subtracted.

It would also give an opportunity to contact a one-off troll and say, "Hey, this wasn't cool, please keep it clean in my threads or you're out."

On another note, +Robert Scoble, if you're adopting the hide-the-circles approach, it does seem to sort of go counter to your general practice. Which, although I disagree with because I'm a quibbler that it's not necessarily the best for everyone to be über public all the time, it's always been refreshing that you make that argument while being so public yourself. Closing off your circles seems like the end of an era in a way and strikes me as a bit sad.
I also think that this is useful setting for people who want a bit more privacy on Google+. For you I think it is essential. +Robert Scoble will hear the critical thoughts with or without this feature, I guarantee it. And the external lists have indeed begun. I have bookmarked this, but as a less-followed person, I don't have the same issues.
With the exception of Youtube, I hate all trolls and spammers. I wish I could find one in the act and give them a curb smile.
Too bad. This morning, before you changed, I noticed that we had four non-famous contacts in common.
I have found several interesting people via who you are following. Its a shame that a curator or interesting people has to lock down due to the actions of the annoying. Maybe you could every once and a while give us one or two or your most interesting people that you have in your circles.
Privacy is the best policy and I think privacy is an advantage at Google + over FB even though most of us can still allow our networks to expand to people beyond our comfort zones whether they are acquaintances or not. Mashable CEO should see this as a recommendation for his CNN presentation which I call Privacy + Thanks for the very good advice and what could become major competition with FB.
I have never really had to deal with trolls before. Additionally, I never heard the term "Troll" until I joined Google+. I have Goggled the topic and have not found a good explanation of what one is. I comment regularly on your post, does this make me a troll or a bad actor? It would be helpful for you to explain this topic further in this post or another one. You insight would be appreciated.
+Stephen Hunter , the only way I really enjoy trolls is when comedians address them on YouTube, as Miranda Sings does with her "haters back off" and reading her hate mail on her vlog. The vitriol is real enough, but her reactions are priceless.
The great thing is... you have the choice and can implement whatever makes you comfortable.
I cant stand the fact that trolls ruin it for everyone. "ooh something new.. lets go slate everyone and spread our crap.. everyone loves that!"
Too bad. I can understand your decision but for me public circles is a great way to find new people. Plus if someone circles me I always have a look at the people he is following. Thus giving me an idea of what kind of person he is and wether I should follow him back.
Not very +Robert Scoble like...It's a great way to find and meet new people. I'm not for bending to the trolls. I have mixed feelings. In a sense it is similar to some people on Google+ who shamelessly self promote publicly and then complain that they are getting private messages from users they don't know. I find it ugly and arrogant. We should listen to them but are not worthy of speaking to them.
+Daymond Decker If you're genuine and don't engage in frivolous personal attacks, you're unlikely to be considered a troll, even if you disagree with whatever is being presented.
Just change mine to your sample. thanks again.
I am sorry we have reached this point, but since the googlers in charge of g+ are here and listening, how about asking them for some kind of solution? They listened and implemented games in a way that satisfies of all us, gamers and non gamers.

So I think this fine group of engineers could find a workaorund, I trust them because so far they have been the opposite of the facebook gang.
Yup, I agree with +Henry Soenarko , Finding other interesting people through a following/followers circles is great. Too bad the trolls are ruining it.
That's a good point. I'll change the settings when/if I have a problem, but for now it hasn't started being a problem for me.
Google + makes it extremely easy to find people you want to share with. It's really unecessary to go through others circles. I like all the options google is offering ,
I hope Pete Cashmore is reading this too.
This is the first thing I changed when I was playing with the privacy options.
Simple. Make a circle called Recommended Follows. Toss people in there and make it the only circle visible to all. That way you can share without people having to see hundreds of googlers in your circles. Check my profile for an example. 
Lets just take a poll of everyone and see how popular it is but in any case, people have the right to decide for themselves.
By the way: if you push it a little further and "de-select" the whole "show people in" option you'd proceed under the assumption you kept your contacts private.

However, once you share with limited audiences (e.g. with all circles, but not publicly) the "limited" link at the top of your post "reveal" these contacts...

(so much about privacy)
One permutation of this idea could be a public post that only your circles could comment on, but could be viewed by all.
That's a really tough question just because I've found a lot of great people to follow by looking at who others are following, and those "others" may not be following me. It also helps my Googler stalking to make me a better fanboy :-)
Maybe you should write a book on filters and other means of managing one's presence and information flow. It's the most intrinsic form of online curation.
So does this mean that Google's attempt to allow only identified users have failed completely or the trolls dont care or easily outsmart the system? 
I don't even allow the people in my circles to see who else is in my circles. I don't want anyone mining off of my list.
Being new to the game, I haven't had any problems yet, but I see 113196 people have you in their circles which is a lot to deal with, and it looks like I'm the 83rd comment so you probably won't even get this far, but I would imagine from your perspective it might be a good idea to keep the trolls away. What's to stop them from jumping into the people that have you in their circles? That list is still visible. I guess it is their choice to have climbed on board so they take their chances. Is there no way to kill a troll in G+? Can't they be silenced?
Are trolls that big of a problem? The strength of Google+, at least for now, is it's public post and comment threads. There has to be a better way to handle bad actors on here. Doesn't this site become a mediocre Facebook if everyone walls themselves off in their circles?
This is a tough question because I find value in looking at who is following people I am so that I can discover more people with particular interests etc to circle.
Individual comments can be removed from posts and then the troll can be blocked - but I understand that this is work for the poster :) and doesn't solve the issue of the trolls targeting others in your circles...
To me what you post is more important than who's in your circles.
I started doing that the first day I signed up for g+. If that capability weren't there, I wouldn't have turned on the account, other than as a very restricted thing between myself and a small number of people. The real names policy means I am extremely careful what I share publicly (my public profile is pretty much useless and will stay that way). LOL, I got a pretty good laugh out of the response to a recent editorial trashing g+ when people looked at the author's profile and decided he couldn't possibly know anything about g+ because of who he followed...
Until I'm forced to make such drastic moves I'll keep my list public as well as my posts. 
+Gib Wallis has touched on my feeling about this post. For the rest of us average citizens, hiding our circles is just a personal decision. Who cares? For +Robert Scoble, many of us are now not only outside of his circle, we now suffer the additional issue of missing out on who is in the party. I never knew who +Robert Scoble even was until I got into G+. However, I have enjoyed following your posts, and feel like the transparency is part of your "brand". I don't know, do what you feel is right. That's all you can do. Let the chips fall where they may. But as +Gib Wallis said, it seems a bit sad.
Why hide 5k users from bots while exposing 100k?

I only show the circles for: peers@work, scientists, pro photographers & notables. In short, people I can recommend/vouch for.

I trust Google can handle bots/spammers. They've been doing a good job filtering my email.
I cannot find where in my settings I make this adjustment.
+Robert Scoble It has two lectures, for example, you enjoy be followed.. and you are following +Ashton Kutcher and Ashton follows you of course, and you know that Ashton likes to be followed too right? , he do not need to have his picture on your profile to be mass followed, but you know that you will have more followers if you appears on his profile and in other profiles of course, besides the people that already knows you and follows you from twitter or other social network. And people that do not know that Ashton has a profile here but knows you maybe see Ashton profile on your circle and decide to put him on theirs too, Ashton will be more than happy to have more followers and this way Ashton will be able to say soon on the news that he is the most followed person on G+

I for example did not know you, I saw that one friend had you on his circles, and wanted to see for curiosity who was you, I saw your profile, I liked what you posted, and I moved you to one of my circles in order to receive updates of what you post and read what interest me from time to time, becouse, you receive a lot of comments, and on this basis, I read too what people thinks about the matter you posted about.. The day that you stop posting things that interest me, or if you post so much that just fill my updates with your content, then that day I will just remove you from that circle.. and for example later, I can put you in my circles again, is the beauty of G+ and circles, is a mix of the best of twitter with the best of FB joined by the circles.

On my case I do not have any especial interest on be followed, I do not live from a blog, image or fans, so I do not care about such matters, I post things that interest me to share with my friends or the persons that has the same interests than me and have added me to their circles.. I even sometimes end following some people that follows me becouse I see and like what they post... At the end, is not a matter of to follow or to be followed, is a matter of follow people that says things that interest you... profiles collectors will exists on any social network.

Regarding to trolls, fake profiles, etc, i think that is G+ team duty to try to avoid them, I think that everybody must do what they like or feel more confortable with, regarding to that matter, you have circles for that.. no matter how many people follow you if you do not add them to your circles you never will see their updates, plus you have the option to simply block an unwanted person.
I'll try this setting myself. Just wondering if exclusion is the solution.
How about setting up a system that eliminates bots (based on behavior) and bats-down Trolls? I'm always for more openness. When you start closing down we all lose. 
I don't trust anyone who has no info on their About page. A map of where they have lived doesn't cut it.
Welcome to your Google+ where all the trolls and spammers have "ordinary looking" names. It's looking like I won't be staying.
LOL, my profile is intentionally vague and it will stay that way. People won't follow me -- oh well, too bad...
I'm cool with being open at least for now. I may lock it down in the future. Nice to know there's an option. The Google folks are listening and learning!
When I block someone, it says "This person won't be able to comment on your content". Is this not true?
I don't even let people in my circles see who I am following, because, frankly, it's none of their business. If I had better control over the visibility, I'd open that information up a little bit. But I don't want people whom I follow but otherwise know nothing about to have access to my family or real-life friends. There are some people in my circles whom I know are considered jerks by most people -- they're in my circles for any of a number of reasons (maybe a coworker, maybe a childhood friend, maybe we have a shared life experience), but those people are NOT people I would want to foist upon the unsuspecting "normal" people in my circles.

So because I don't get to control specifically who I am following by circle, nobody gets to see anything...
+Binh Ly That's not what I said. I did not say that if there is a good About page, I trust the person completely and everything they say. I simply said that if their About page is empty, I don't trust them.
I switched to "Your Circles" maybe a week after I joined Google+. The only problem I have with this is that sharing the people in my circles is not more ... configurable?

I would like to enable nearly all of my circles to see that I am following you, Robert, a few other Google+ accounts I enjoy, as well as the actors, musicians and comedians I have circled. I would like everyone not in any of my circles (Incoming) to not see who I am following, nor who is following me.

I am in a PS3 clan and more than a few of them are on here. Members of that group should be the only ones allowed to see my PS3 clan's circle so they can add them if and when they create a Google+ account. My PS3 clan should not be allowed to see my Family circle. Swap PS3 clan and Family, then (sort of) repeat the last three sentences. I would like the celebrities and "other" accounts not to see either my PS3 or Family circle.

It looks like the above might be confusing. The way I see this working is to cut the "Change who is visible here" code from my profile and make it available to each and every circle.
+Andrew Riley , but then you risk giving up the true power of G+ and that's letting people know what circle you even put them in. Imagine a female coming on your page and noticing all your 'circled friends' (to her at least) are girls that all happen to be in your area... that's not even that bad, but think a few steps further.
Back in the early days of twitter before all the tools came out that massively increase followers, a few of us found a hack that you could add a space before your display name and it would sort alphabetically so I would always be at the top of your followers. I made a difference in how many followed me :) 
Shhh, +Carlos G. Limardo . I want to keep "that" circle hidden from everyone, including that circle.

Seriously though, I am one of those who would not mind sharing my circles in certain situations as I described above. If implemented correctly, those that do not agree with the idea would simply not use it like I would.
This is great advice Robert, thank you! Will be re-sharing this for sure.
Well truthfully I care more about where you get your info, and who YOU think knows what is up as oppose to who reads you. This in my mind diminishes the communication of valuable information and closes the inner circles.
*changed* Good idea. I have had a few bots follow everyone on my list.
+Robert Scoble please keep me in your "is a geek and knows where good sushi is" circle. :-)

I also wish that posts supported using a "-" sign to exclude a circle. That would certainly help with personal blacklists.
For people I don't know, part of my decisions of who I follow is who they are following and who follows them.
I'm not in your circle but I follow you - does this have any affect on that?
Good read, Thx! 2 bad we have 2 be so defensive & offensive. Seeing what goes on, I'll try 2 help as best I can.
Can't stand lies & bigotry. Sandbag um! 
I had full privacy on in the first week of July. The reason for it was that the only people in my circles I knew were family members. I haven't gotten around to relaxing the privacy settings on the account since then. I don't have a list of geeks I'm curating, rather several distinct groups of people (family, friends, business, interesting people) with little or no overlap so I'm unbothered about not sharing yet.

I was waiting to see if Google would update Circles functionality although that appears to be still in the works/not happening.
I'm still hopeful that Circles will get some form of flags/privileges so that the current system becomes more functional and better from a privacy perspective. G+ still has too much of a geek "look up the wiki and dig into the custom menus" attitude for its size. While there might be ways to make little fixes here and there to slow down trolls, etc, the real fix is a re-implementation of Circles that addresses the weaknesses of the original model such as Extended Circles.
Wow, that is some die hard trolling. . .takes a good amount of effort.. I'm glad I'm just not that important :)
I come from Twitter and not Facebook so I'm used to having public posts and being able to follow followers of followers. I don't think this helps the system at all, especially for those looking for new people to follow. I'd much rather follow people who +Robert Scoble has in his circles and their people who they follow.

But then how do you stop the trolls.... hmmm. Me don't like...
I made some changes to mine not too long ago also. I completely removed who I was following because I was starting to hear crap about how many I was following.

Also, I think that gets stalked more than who is following me.
I'm not sure I totally get what this is all about but I changed my settings as you suggested. Hope this helps. :)
I don't really think it makes a difference unless you hide who is following you too.
I like to see both sets of circles, it definitely helps me find new people I want to add. I just tend to be real heavy with the block button, so I block a ton of people. I think that's the best solution; just block anyone that's annoying.
I haven't had trolls in my post -- maybe I don't post enough, or I am not popular enough. But apparently I didn't make your circle Scoble.
Just this morning I was faced with the realization (ok I am slow) that some of the people in my circles had folks in their circles that to me were creepy. Thanks for pointing out the obvious solution.
What circle am I in Robert? :) ttyl... Great discussion! 
I wish there was an option to "not allow people to add me in their profile as someone who added them to their circles or someone who's int heir circles."

What's the point of hiding everything on my public profile if I still show up in X's profile page?
Jasia S
That's it for me. You've tweeked so much and posted ad nauseum about so much other than your photography (which is all I'm interested in) I'm no longer interested in you. Wishing you all the best. Bye Robert.
Jason W
I think it helps quite a lot ... one of the things that Google can get right with G+ is to give the users plenty options to manage the information flood that is social networking.
Thanks....I now know how to make Google+ everything Facebook isn't.
It's a shame that it comes to this, I think it could hold back the social networking evolution, is there not another way to stop these pesky spammers?
So, you're asking us what we think of this, but can only see responses from people in your circles? Am I missing something?
+Ben Roberts Hiding who you follow makes a difference to Extended Circles spam and trolls who harass you on the public conversations of people you follow. The people who follow you (the ones in you Incoming stream) are not in your extended circles -- thus, they are not vulnerable to that kind of spam.

+Robert Scoble Thanks for the shout out. Personally, I loved the way Google+ was before it became necessary to do this. I found a lot of really interesting people to follow by seeing who the interesting people, like you, followed. I am disappointed to lose that feature to the trolls.

Also -- the option isn't all or nothing. We can select circles of people to show. We can highlight some of the people we follow by putting them in a circle (Good Reads) and making that one circle public. I might do that and highlight a rotating set of people who I want to recommend to my own readers -- sort of like a sidebar on a blog. But I'd probably stick with public figures not my private contacts.
that reminds me of the Lost episode, when Jin tries to buy that giant stuffed Panda.
What's interesting is that the people in your circles seems to be disappearing a few at a time. Right now I see 800 some that are in your circles, when you used to have thousands. Unless you're cutting back ;) EDIT Ah a see your comment above now. That's the problem with hugely popular posts; too much to read.
Well I hope everyone doesn't do this. The way I've found most of the interesting people I've followed has been from going through the lists of people that a seed of interesting people have followed.
Being unable to see other readers comments is an immense loss to me. It makes it not worthwhile anymore. And it removes the "social" aspect of the experience.
Must have misunderstood that, because it sounded like Scoble was saying that trolls follow every person that he follows -- and that sounds way too much work to me.
Hi, I added you from a recommendation or from a photographers circles, I don't remember which. I understand the annoyance of trolls (interesting term), that is what annoys me so much about Facebook. The reason I have been enjoying my time on G+ so far is the rich stream of posts from photographers, writers and technical persons on here. I have found it very interesting and I haven't added much to that so far.

I rarely add people I don't know on Facebook, but on here I have been adding photographers and people with like minded interests from all over the world, because they are interesting and I value their experience. I hope that is what G+ is going to be all about.

I enjoy your posts, long may they continue.
Hi +Robert Scoble , this post reminded me that you were cutting back your circles to only include profiles of real people with photos and public posts. I am one such person.
well that was a wasted post,,,you must be a libran :) circles back now lol good luck with the spammers :)
im sure someone has already mentioned it somewhere in the 155 comments on this post .. but I'll reiterate : I do like looking at who someone like you (a tech celeb) is following because I know that if you are following person x then person x automatically becomes that much more cooler to me and I might just follow them. If you hence start locking down that list then people like me who have a genuine need to find good people to follow will be at a loss .. and if everyone does that .. then it will be a darn shame .. :( -1
I started getting spam sent via my profile page -because Google kindly told me where it originated, where I guess I had my email address, so I hid that.
I went through and changed my settings, but then the "Find me on Google+" widget on my blog suddenly said "Has 0 Followers." I assume that doesn't look good, so I changed my setting back. I'll deal with the few trolls I've gotten thus far!
It's a great tip from a spamming/troll perspective, though it's a bit of a double-edged sword. Some of the coolest people I'm following were found by looking at the circles of people I'd circled but who hadn't circled me back.

It's likely to slow adoption by new users, who may have a hard time finding a "critical mass" of people to circle.

To me, G+ seems to require a certain mass of circled people in order to be worth using - otherwise one's stream is likely to be too limited or repetitive to be interesting.
I don't care about the "Has 0 Followers" look. Not yet, anyway.
I've unchecked both checkboxes in the visibility settings. To the outside world, I may indeed look like a lone wolf who is following no one, and is followed by no one. That's fine, at least for the time being, and it hasn't stopped normal, nice people from finding and following me. Or vice versa.

Too bad if G+ is getting trollified this soon.