Apparently, as evidenced by this example, Google’s new Social Media darling, Google+ loves to censor photos based upon certain keywords.
I posted a picture on September 1st titled “Full-Frontal Hummingbird: Yesterday’s best capture.” A few days later it was replaced with this black graphic and an international no-entry symbol. The only thing I can conclude from this is that Google+ is censoring photographs based upon keywords in the metadata or the description or both. Certainly the picture isn’t offensive and no reasonable person would report it as inappropriate.
Now, I have listened to pundits-especially in the photography world- proclaiming Google Plus to be the best image experience in the social media realm. Scott Kelby has been ballyhooing this on his many media outlets. Read a blog entry or two by him and you will see (and rightfully so to many points) that there is high regard for the new sharing site. Watch an episode of The Grid and you will hear and see much more about the greatness (or aptness) of Google+ (or Google Plus if you prefer).
Many prominent photographers are jumping on the Plus bandwagon as a salvation from the sins committed upon their images by Facebook and the like. Even I wrote about Facebook’s horrid thumbnail cropping on the Holy Crop! blog recently. But there is still this one nagging problem: Google appears to censor your images…
… even this harmless frontal image of a hummingbird. A few quick refreshes and playing around and eventually Google Plus will reveal the benign image. I hope you covered your child’s eyes if they were near the screen.
You might say, “Rikk, why not just rename it?”
I might reply, “Why? Does it not describe the shot? Is the shot not ‘G-rated’?” I chose this name because after a couple of days getting profiles, I finally got a front-on shot. Perhaps, I also thought it clever. When I shared it with non-public circles and not the general public, its content should be irrelevant in any case. To date, I’ve found no setting that will repair this erroneous designation.
As long as this type of oops is possible, can Google+ really be considered a photographer’s social medial alternative to Facebook ?
Rikk Flohr © 2011