Reporting Posts, Profiles, or Communities
[When trying to be helpful ends up causing more harm - the law of unintended consequences.]
This past weekend some posts pretty much went viral on G+ in an effort to get a loud and proud pedophile/predator shut down - and in fact after 3 days, the profile did get killed by G+. But this event led to some other questions about whether people were going about this the right way or not, and what IS the right way to get the attention of the G+ Abuse Team, without violating the G+ TOS yourself. Turns out it is not as straightforward as it might seem, and doing "the obvious" may cause more harm than good.
If you make a post about a Community or a Profile - you are in fact "promoting"
it as far as G+ is concerned, even if your attempt is to get it shut down. If you reshare a post that violates the TOS - to show people how despicable (or illegal) the post is - you've made an illegal or TOS-violating post in doing so. If you harass or encourage harassment of a profile - you have also violated TOS by doing that. If your campaign gets a lot of people to report something - the mass of reports may overwhelm the Abuse Team, and reduce their efficiency.
be done? It appears that the best thing to do is simply report the profile, and if you are on Desktop PC, fill in the forms to provide as much information as needed to typify what the problem is. Blocking the profile might add a tiny bit of value/legitimacy to your claims. If you don't feel like that is doing enough, then consider creating a post, but put a "nice" picture in first, before you add the link to the profile or post or community in the post text that you are calling attention to. Some people go a step further and report the pedophiles to the FBI or police or related authorities, and they can investigate the IP address and do further forensics on the case from there. It is claimed that G+ does turn over their data to the outside authorities for investigations. Of course, in the case of pedophiles, they mostly use the Dark Web, and on social media just delete and create new profiles all the time, making a Whack-a-Mole game out of it. Also keep in mind that some profiles, posts, or communities might just be Traps, to see who gets lured into them, or are being left up for that reason or while being investigated.
Most of this information comes from G+ Top Contributor John Skeats, plus bits and pieces from others who discussed this topic on a variety of posts and threads. #reporting #abuse
Image: Unintended consequence of trying to be helpful...