Currently a bunch of Google+ users are setting out to show a tech writer that, despite what she suggests in a blog post, Google+ is not some sort of ghost town. Odds are that most of these folks will endeavor to get their message across in the form of level-headed comments and emails. That's fine and dandy! Unfortunately there's also a very good chance that there'll be a handful of individuals who'll view the writer's tongue-in-cheek remarks as a declaration of war — and act with the aggression they feel this necessitates.
Sure, this course of events might sound silly to some of you, but most of those who have been in that writer's shoes — I certainly have — will cringe. The type of aggression writers (especially female writers) are subjected to when they offend the wrong fanboys and fangirls — I use that term while considering myself a Google+ fangirl, mind you — can be terrifying.
Of course, as disheartening as that reality may be, it is unfortunately incredibly difficult to avoid. What is avoidable is the fanning of these flames.
You see, at the root of much — if not nearly all — of the rage directed toward the writer in question is a post by a prominent Google+ user. Despite acknowledging that the young woman was likely merely joking, he deems it acceptable (and necessary) to turn several million followers into a personal army against her. He even includes a photo — which he appears to have taken from her personal Google+ profile — along with his strongly worded call for action.
This is absolutely shameful. But I guess writing a post which merely reminds people about the glowing user numbers Google+ is hitting without promoting aggression against a young woman wouldn't have earned a sufficient number of shares and +1s.
Well, screw that. Here's what matters: The last time official numbers were shared, in late December 2012, Google+ had 135 million active users. I'll eat my favorite hat — a knitted red beanie, in case you're curious — if this number has not doubled by the time Google I/O comes around in May.
Image by Eldeeem/Flickr.