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Richard Luo

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I don't get why Google doesn't delete "discontinued" communities with no moderators. Some of them are ask-to-joins, so I don't understand why the former owners didn't delete the community. Right now these "orphan" communities are wasting server space, computing speed, screen space, bandwidth, time, and other resources. There's hardly any purpose at all to them once unmoderated spam starts rolling in...
Peter van Rens's profile photo
+Richard Luo a good community to leave
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Hi everybody! I am currently working on my Capstone research and using the "Community of Practice" model and I am planning on getting my coworkers to collaborate and integrate insightful resources, questions, and other communicated needs within 2 schools.  What are some tips, topics, resources do I need to help me start up the group?  Greatly appreciated! (P.S. I am also doing a mini proposal to the Admin. to get all staff engaged in this wonderful opportunity).  As of my research question is currently being refined, so far I have "How does the use of online discussion boards influence transparent communication between teachers?"
John R. Ellis's profile photoAndrew Davis's profile photo
Hi +Edward Benoanie having used g+ extensively for teaching and learning over the last 2 years, I have not got involved in getting a community of teachers at my institute involved and sharing and involving other teachers across the state.  It doesnt take off as quick for teachers as it does for students, however its slowly growing,
Id be happy to chat more and compare notes if you want to send me a private post
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Brian Johnson

» Suggestions  - 
Here's an idea which (if implemented by Google) might really cut down on some types of spambots.

In Google Groups, I can mark a member as "moderated" - meaning that any posts by that member are held in a pending queue until I release (or reject it).   Perhaps Google+ could implement something similar in communities, and for "self-joining" communities, permit the owner to set the default for new community members to be in this moderated category until "promoted" by a moderator to a full contributor status.

If we had something like this, then a community which becomes popular enough to be a spam target could turn this on - then new members would not be able to spam everyone, but could still contribute, just a little more slowly.   An owner could promote any member to "unmoderated" status at any time. 

What do you think?   Would such an option help moderators cut down on fighting "throwaway" spambot accounts?

(I have already suggested this via the feedback.)
John R. Ellis's profile photoNoernberg Stamps's profile photoJay Santana's profile photo
I also want to endorse +Brian Johnson 's idea above! And I encourage the +Google+ Help and/or +Google+ Developers to make it happen as soon as possible!
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Trey Ratcliff

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Question (false-assumption??) - When I "Pin" a post within a category, don't you think it should also be at the top of that category when I click into it?
Trey Ratcliff's profile photoStephen Ng's profile photoAbbasdesertrose's profile photo
+Trey Ratcliff // Pro-tip -- don't post porn if your mom is your #1 fan.
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+Danielle Buckley Google+ made all posts to a community visible to moderators a while ago. I think it is time to consider allowing moderators to comment on all posts to their communities regardless of community member having the moderator blocked, muted, ignored, or the post comments disabled.
Mike Noyes's profile photoSeth Burgess's profile photo
Thanks +Mike Noyes - added to my circles!  Should we pester some moderators to create a note to this effect (pinned post or About this community), or is just putting it in the right category sufficient?
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Destry Wion

» Suggestions  - 
Better G+ UI, with Keep

I haven't used Google Keep much until lately, but if you haven't looked at that app, it's a pretty slick note-taking and editing UI in Google's suite of tools. Yesterday I was wondering  why I couldn't easily access Keep from the Apps icon. I.e., why isn't it under there?  (Lame.). Today I'm realizing that it's a tool under Google Drive. If you look at the full URL of Keep, you see this, but yet you can't find Keep from the Drive environment. (More lameness.) Keep even has it's own icon, with makes the Drive thing even more confusing.

But, I'm also realizing how nice it would be if G+ adopted the Keep editing model, which  provides two wonderful options for viewing and editing posts, and which are infinitely more usable and stable (read: no little scrolling boxes) than G+'s own UI, including in communities.

+Google+ Developers, if you're listening, the math here is very easy: integrate Keep into G+ (and toolbar in general) and use the Keep model for displaying and editing G+ posts (tack on the little community features/functions, of course). You would have a winner.
Quickly create, access and organize notes, lists and photos with Google Keep. All your notes are automatically stored in Drive.
Jared Morgan's profile photoStan Bush's profile photo
I use Keep for certain things. I also use Tasks.  I login to Chrome with GApps and sync across devices. I use Google Drive and sync there too.  I use Google Shortcuts from the Chrome store and added Keep to those that are displayed. I use the Google Keep Standalone App on my Samsung 4. Maybe it's not available on Nexus...not sure. 
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Mike Brzozowski

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What confuses or annoys you about Communities?
I'm a user experience researcher at Google looking to compile a list. If you could fix one thing about Communities, what would it be? Also think about your Communities' members: what do you think would help them to get more out of your Communities?

+1 each others' comments if you agree with them. And thanks for your suggestions!
James Ward's profile photoJacek N. Kozioł's profile photoMelinda jon's profile photospider link directory's profile photo
Thank you all for your great feedback and ideas! I've shared them with the Communities team and they're hard at work making improvements--some of which you'll hopefully see soon!

Closing this thread now...but if you'd like to give more feedback we encourage you to:
- Use the Send Feedback link in the menu (you can also trigger it by pressing @ on desktop, or shaking your phone on a mobile app)
- Sign up for Google user studies--we're looking for participants all around the world. More details at

Edgar Brown

» Suggestions  - 
Bug in +mention parsing

I am not sure how to report this #bug  as it inactivates the Feedback link with it...

Has anyone else noticed this? It has happened to me non-stop for the last few days. In any post view (including sidebars), and in both Chrome and Safari in my Mac under OS X 10.9.1

The following sequence seems to elicit it consistently:

- Comment on a post (my own post in this case)
- Do a +mention of someone in the comments.
- Write some text
- Do a +mention of someone NOT in the comments (not in your circles, perhaps?)

The second +mention will:
- not be filled-in properly
- Leave a fixed bit of text, that follows the page around
- Break most of the interface (including the 'feedback' menu option)
- move the cursor to the beginning of the comment...

Reloading the page is the only way I have found to get it all back to a working condition. In some related cases, the little piece of text follows you around as you use G+

On an unrelated, but similar, vein. Under the G+ iOS app, autocorrect (keyboard-based dictionary and word completion) and +mention parsing interact badly. Causing some of these same problems, but limited to the comment itself and not to the whole app.

+Saurabh Sharma  +Google+ can someone direct this to the right place? As I said, the 'feedback' link breaks under this bug.
John R. Ellis's profile photo
+Edgar Brown   A lot of people in a variety of communities are complaining about bugs in the plus mention system.  I'm sure G+ is aware of it by now.

Typing some extra text to test - as I have not personally been affected.  +Gplussa .   That went okay.  Now just for fun:  +Peg Ritchie .  Okay, still does not seem to be affecting me on Chrome version 32, desktop Windows computer.
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Sean S

» Suggestions  - 
Clean up duplicate posts
Sometimes there are duplicate posts from multiple users.
In addition to being able to delete these posts, I'd like to be able manually select these posts and group them.  The oldest post gets displayed and the duplicates gets collapsed and can be expanded by users who wants these posts.
Peter van Rens's profile photoSean S's profile photo
Sean S
I know you can't do anything about it.  Just throwing out an idea/feature request for discussion. 
Is this category for feedback/request for this community or is it to give feedback for a Google+ Community features?  I may have misunderstood the purpose of this category.
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Eli Osadchenko

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Google Plus idea for communities:
add to the spam filter

What I mean by this that the owner should add words/sentences for the spam filter to catch and flag the post
Then moderators can approve it or reject it
John R. Ellis's profile photoEli Osadchenko's profile photo__Aqua _Shark__'s profile photo
+John R. Ellis oh I see now
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Thomas Scholz

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We really need a tool to ban posts automatically.

There is for example this es-shopping·com idiot. He creates at least two accounts per day, posts just an image … and the automatic spam filter doesn’t catch him.

Lone images or links are not allowed in the communities I moderate. Why do we moderators have to clean up the same spammer each day, sometimes multiple times? If we could add a rule to prevent that, we wouldn’t have this problem and could spend our time answering questions from real members.

Please add at least a two checkboxes to the community settings:

[ ] Forbid bare images.
[ ] Forbid bare links.
Doug Essinger-Hileman's profile photoJohn R. Ellis's profile photo
Good question.  G+ does not reveal how it's spam algorithms work, so that the pros won't defeat it.  Those shopping spammers use new sock puppet accounts each time, and hit the larger communities.  I think they can count on several getting through each time, and the rest will be caught by the filters - plenty of them are in the filters too.  If G+ would just "Censor" the advertisement images (same with all the Chain Post images "post this to 10 communities in the next 5 minutes or you will die") - that would help but they don't do it.   :'-(
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Erhard Baltrusch

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Hi all,
my community ( ) is certainly not the largest but even at 360 members it is getting tedious to manage members.

I think it would be helpful to have an option to sort the member list by join date as I'm pretty convinced that this date is saved in the database and could be used as an index. This way, the newest members would always show up first and owners/moderators would save a lot of time evaluating the new members.

Your thoughts?
Model Railroading
From Z to G ... and larger
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Peter van Rens's profile photoRich Koning's profile photo
+John R. Ellis Categories looking good.  After reading +Peter van Rens comment and another thread on here, here's one more suggestion.  Maybe a disclaimer in the introduction that says we are in no way affiliated with nor have any pull whatsoever with the powers that be at Google+   Then again, it's my experience that no one reads those things anyway :)
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Robert Miller

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Would it be possible to make items pinnable within their category rather than always to the All Posts? It would be handy to have category specific content pinned within that category, but not outside of it because it may not be relevant to the community as a whole.
John R. Ellis's profile photoAndrew Davis's profile photo
Categories is just one more function that makes it stand out from facebook. Quick and easy to filter the entire home stream into one topic.  
Great idea to pin top of each category 
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Evan Hei

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About a year ago +Brian Glick and some other folks expressed interest in how I was using private G+C’s to teach web-enhanced college courses.  I apologize for not replying sooner.

In the interim I have continued using them to great success, if I may say so myself.  I also gave a paper at a sociology conference about my usage.

Someone asked about my prior experience.  I started using the internet in 1992, and started teaching college courses the next year, collecting papers via floppy disks.

From 1997 I was teaching full-time at Kobe University in Japan.  Eventually I started using Blogger to collate posts from students.  There was not much way to hierarchize the posts (other than by time) but the seminars had few students and few enough posts that it hardly mattered.

The students and I had a strong need for such service:  to pool the work of glossing the readings.  That is, I was assigning them to read challenging texts in English (a foreign language to them) in print.  When each student had to look up each key word they didn’t know, none of them got much reading done.  So I would divvy up each assignment:  each student would post a glossary for his or her assigned, ten pages of the assignment, and depend on classmates for the rest.  This system was not ideal, but it served a real purpose for collaboration.

After I returned to the U.S. in 2009, I taught one course using Blackboard.  The university where I taught it had paid $20,000 for a plug-in to allow usage of profile photos, only to have the university nix any usage of the feature.  The authorities were concerned lest any students or professors help organized crime organizations to find, via their profile photos (or lack of identifiable profile photos), students who were in witness protection programs.  

Blackboard was atrocious—by far the worst machine of any sort that I’d ever been compelled to use—and my students agreed, but we got through the semester.  There were some advantages:  1) it was secure, 2) I had expert help, and 3) it was easy to set up breakout discussions.

The next semester instead I used Facebook.  After I had committed to using it, I realized that by insisting students make and use a second Facebook account, I was compelling them to violate FB’s terms.  If any of them got thrown off FB and complained, I could’ve got in big trouble at work.  But the risk of another kind of complaint--resulting from my having compelled them to use their main FB accounts--seemed greater.  I could not go back to Blogger because the class was too large.  The safe path would’ve been to go back to no-internet-component, or else find a new platform, but I did not have time, so I forged ahead.  Luckily (thanks to the students not complaining about it, and thanks to FB, in practice, tolerating their dual accounts), I got away with it.  It seemed there was no need for breakout discussions because threads developed as mini-discussions.

The interesting thing about the semester was that I did not have to do anything to get the students to talk to each other online.  They did.  A lot.  Freely.  

One disadvantage was that a couple of the students felt FB was too informal a place to have school.

Afterwards my supervisor pointed out that the students are supposed to write essays, so reluctantly I moved towards essays.  Meanwhile instead of FB, I switched to using Google+ Circles.

In all my teaching, I generally find the mutiny-factor tends to be high, because students don’t understand at first what I am asking of them, and they resist the different expectations:  using social media since 2009 in the U.S. (as opposed to Japan, which is much more hierarchical and where I had excellent, dutiful students) enhances the potential for mutiny, obviously, and my first semester teaching how to write essays was the most mutinous semesters of my career thus far.

Previously I had avoided teaching how to write an essay in Humanities courses, on the grounds that teaching students to read, think, and converse thoughtfully in writing was a tall enough order for one semester of Humanities.  But then I agreed to require students to write four essays, each responding to a prompt, using its terms.  None of the students on the first essay used any of the terms of the prompt, so I told them they all had to re-do the first essay, this time using the terms of the prompt.  They flat-out mutineed.  It was quite a challenge.  But we got through it!

With Google+ Circles, students found it deeply confusing because it was enough like Facebook to throw them off.  They could not grasp that though on FB “friending” creates a mutual relationship, Circles are not at all mutual.

It was not easy for me either.  I was able to tell them to get into breakout groups, and if students participated I could see it, but I could not see whether slack students had configured any Circles at all.  If some students posts were invisible to other students, meanwhile I had no way to know.

Privacy was a major drawback.  Students constantly were posting publicly instead of only to the Circle.  Worse, occasionally when providing feedback that I needed to go only to the student, accidentally I posted it to the whole class Circle.

The next semester I started using only email for private feedback, but then, students were not in the habit of checking their Inboxes.

So as soon as G+Cs became available I started using them.  The best features are how the Community-icon works to identify the locus of each online Community, and how we all easily can see a grid showing profile photos of the whole class.

Getting students into the Communities is a challenge, but getting easier each semester.  One of the baffling flaws is that when students search for me and then for their class’s Community, they search “everything,” but don’t find anything.  Why not?  Because somehow at G+, “everything” does not mean . . . anything.  One must actually select “People and Places” to find me, and must select “Communities” to search and find a Community.  Apparently Communities, People and Places are not part of “Everything” at Google+.

Then one of the major flaws is Search, which does not work consistently within Communities.  If I did not know better, I would certainly say that Google is a company great at lots of things, but not search.

As I get better and can trust students more, I keep adding functionality.  For example, I put the schedule of assignments onto a Calendar, give students the iCal address, and have them add it to their accounts.  (This step is the only extant, sticking point for students:  a bunch can’t find the button even though I tell them where it is.  Must include screen shot . . . but then, I’m not sure it’ll look the same on different machines after some time, anyway.)

The main feature I wish I had was a breakout-group feature, or a member-in-good-status feature.  Because I think the most powerful visual usage of the whole package is the grid showing who is in the class, I want it to show only the students actively participating.  But as it stands, my only options are to keep inactive students in there, or else evict them, which I think would harsh and discouraging, and if they are potentially passing the course it might also be unethical.

I realize that if I require students to join separate Communities, I can use them as breakout groups, but so far I have not tried it.  I have enough on my plate monitoring each class’ Community.  If breakout groups are separate, I would have too many Communities.

Ah, that reminds me of another approach I developed for lack of hierarchization functionality.  A relevant problem first arose with Circles:  because my students were all connected to me, they also saw my past students, and some friends of mine who were alumni, which was weird for the alumni.  With Communities, there was no way to “put away” my old Communities to focus only on the active ones (for current courses):  so I simply use a different identity each semester.

Unfortunately, this makes it very difficult for me to search anything from a prior semester, or even view prior semesters.  But oh well.

I am mainly focused on how to make the classroom and the online Community feed into each other.  One of my main approaches has been to say that as long as I can see online that students are doing their book-learning, we can use classroom time for other things, like listening to music and talking about it.

This semester I have one course in particular that right from the start is going great.  Last night I realized that a few of them were struggling to conceptualize some of the key approaches of the course.  So I decided to use class time, including breakout groups, to see if in collaboration they could get further.

They didn’t, but the takeaway was that they all realized they all tend to focus on  answers and solutions, when actually the course is expressly concerned with questions and problems.  They are starting to get it.  There is no way I would have been able to time this lesson properly without the web-component, and no way for the group to get to know itself this way without the classroom.

Anyway before the start of this semester I got a contract to write a seminar syllabus in collaboration with someone.  I managed to convince him to try my approach.  He was skeptical.  But it works for him too!  Rave review.

The syllabus, as he puts it, is intricate.  It requires students to stay actively posting.  At least once a week they need to do a Substantial Blog Post (SBP) featuring quotations, explanations, open-ended questions, and pursuit of the course’s Aims.  Every two weeks they must respond to some classmates.

At the start of the semester, instead of merely a Syllabus (already long enough) plus a Schedule, they have two more core documents.  One is the Startup Instructions, which has all the instructions for G+ and the course’s policies for netizenship and netiquette.  The other is the SBP Guide.

There is one more novel aspect of my course.  Basically, students who meet all the requirements can earn at least a B just by submitting them all, and if they show they respond to criticism and turn in all the work, they get an A.  

The point is, because the standards are mostly objective, and the Syllabus spells out the weighting, they can grade themselves.  Because they can grade themselves, I respond to them as a guide rather than as a grader, at least until Midterm.  

At the end of the course, I use Survey Monkey to get students first to evaluate the course and their instructor, and then to evaluate their own performance including a grade.  I explain to them there is no penalty for under-grading themselves but there might well be a penalty if they choose a grade two letters higher than the numbers (based on work submitted) indicate.  They have to count up their submissions.  There would be penalty for major errors in self-reportage.

When I have to give students final grades, I look first at their self-eval, then at my feedback I gave them at Midterm and other times.  (One catch is that the Midterm feedback is private, so I send it by email.  To save me a step, I require students to post in their Final Self-Eval, via Survey Monkey, the Midterm feedback I gave them.  Many do not bother.  I’m not sure why, but I’m sure some don’t know how to find their Inbox.)

On the day of the Final Exam, I present to the class first the aggregate data of their self-evals (e.g., including a graph showing the distribution of their self-grades), plus I go over each student’s [name-munged] responses.  Then each student sits for an Exit Interview with me.

I ask them how they feel about the course, then ask them how they feel about their performance in it.  Then if I agree with their self-grade, I tell them so, and thank them.  

If I figure their grade should be higher or lower than their self-grade, I attempt to reach consensus with them and almost always do.

My courses are intensely time-consuming for me, but I’m actually interested to see students’ questions, and enjoy coaching them.  

Nathan Davis's profile photoEvan Hei's profile photo
I appreciate the feedback, guys!  +Nathan Davis, what is a moderator page?  

Anyway my goal is not to track non-participating students:  my goal is for participating students to see a visual grouping including only profile-photos of participating students. 
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Anthea Kawakib Poole

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omg, just missed the feedback thread. Or did someone mention this: 
it would be awesome in Public communities to have a category only members could see and participate in. 
John R. Ellis's profile photoAnthea Kawakib Poole's profile photo
+John R. Ellis ok I have to say I'm giggling at the idea of Google having a coding nightmare! I'm sure I have no idea!
But having a second Private community just so the members of the first Public com munity can have a private thread seems illogical to me.
I'd be more than happy to illuminate this idea (and the reason behind it) further to a Google rep though. 
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Dena Piña

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Seeking moderators for this new community that is still under construction. Please take a look at it and give me some feedback and let me know if you'd be interested in signing on to help with tbe project.

Thats sooooooo true, thats why I have a decided to do something new for dating. I have created or in process of creating "my knight" an online dating community that will background check every profile by speaking with a few if tbe persons exes, family members, landlord or neighbors, criminal and credit check, and verify identity so that women or even men can feel secure that when they are meeting " John Smith" that he really does exist and that he is a safe choice. This will be a site designed for victims of domestic abuse as and will genegenerate an income for a charitable organization that will assist victims in ending the cycle of abuse and helping them through that final stage when they are at risk for choosing a new abuser instead of a new lover. Most victims of abuse go straight into another abusive relationship causing harm to them physically, mentally, and emotionally while costing local governments $$ on 911 calls, public service officers, medical bills, court fees etc. Wouldnt it just be more practical to stand by these victims and illuminate a path that will be safer for them and others involved? Sorry, got carried away there. Please feel free to check out the community and give me any feedback possible thx 
My Knight
Safe Dating after Domestic Violence and or Abuse
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Stephen Ng's profile photoJason Telford's profile photo
+Stephen Ng random I know but you just reminded me of the HMS Pinafore .

"His nose should pant
and his lip should curl,
His cheeks should flame
and his brow should furl,
His bosom should heave
and his heart should glow,
And his fist be ever ready
for a knock-down blow."
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Jim Munro

» Suggestions  - 
We often encounter linkdrops in comments.

We can report spam AND/OR delete the comment. 

It would make it easier and faster to keep our community tidy if we were also offered the option to "remove, report and ban" for rogue comments.
Brian Glick's profile photoRich Koning's profile photo
Not even with Google any longer and Mr. Wizard +Brian Glick still comes to the rescue :)
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I own quite a few communities but do have a difficult time getting them to to grow   .
John R. Ellis's profile photoL Lawliet's profile photo
+John R. Ellis Thank you for the tip.
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Thomas Scholz

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How to report a sock puppet ring?

Today I came across a ring of sock puppet profiles  (search for appmaker.merq.XcApN,,, and All very common names. Imagine a Smith shares only posts from people named Jones, Taylor, Williams and Brown (and vice versa) … all overly positive “reviews” of the same product.

I have reported the profiles – they are spamming many communities for some time and right now. 

But that’s not enough. This spammer will probably just create new profiles if some are closed. On, where I am a moderator too, we would now investigate voting behavior and IP cross references. This isn’t possible here for normal moderators – and it shouldn’t – but someone from the higher powers should do that to prevent this person from creating more profiles.

There is the black box Feedback in the sidebar, but I am not sure if someone actually reads that and if it reaches the people who can do something about this issue.

My request: Provide a real tool to report sock puppet rings, and tell us if it was worth the effort once you have investigated the reported profiles.
Jennifer Grove's profile photoMike Noyes's profile photo
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