Friday, June 29, 2012

When Google+ heavyweights such as Los Angeles-based actor Wil Wheaton, with more than 1.3 million followers, were overwhelmed with Google+ Events spam, they didn’t keep quiet about it.
Google+ power users took to their walls to say they were unhappy with the new social invite feature. Google+ Events officially launched Wednesday at the Google I/O conference.

Members with huge followings were inundated with calendar invites. Wheaton noticed the new feature right away. “My feed is completely overwhelmed with ‘everyone’s invited to XXXXX event’ notices, and I’m having a hard time actually seeing posts from people I’m following,” he wrote.

Google+’s most popular were seeing hundreds of invitations in their social streams and hundreds of events were automatically added into their Google Calendars. Users found events corresponding to Google+ Events showing up in their calendars, despite not having confirmed attendance.

The Google team says it is rolling out fixes. On Thursday, Google’s SVP Vic Gundotra whose vacation inspired the development of Google+ Events acknowledged the problem. In a reply to Wheaton, Gundotra states the company is aware of the “bug” affecting “celebrities with large followings.” Here’s his reply in full:

We are doing exactly what you requested. We should have contemplated and anticipated how people would abuse this and how painful this could be for celebrities with large followings.

We have pushed a number of fixes yesterday (some were bug fixes that showed up at scale). Expect more fixes today. Sorry for the trouble Will.

Gundotra also clarified whose invites Google+ users will be seeing.

“To be clear: People who I have in a circle can send me an event. People who have me in a circle, but who are not circled by me, cannot,” he wrote.