The Fallacy of Circles

As a follow on to my thoughts on creating and managing circles earlier in the week, as I continue to play with Google+ I find that the greater issue is not the time and effort to manage the lists, but rather the false sense of security they provide.

This morning for the first time I decided to Share someone elses post on Google+, the original post looked like this


This post originated with a person not in my stream, when I view their Profile I see other posts but not the one that was Shared by a person who is in my circle, which was shared with a Limited group of people.  I didn’t notice the Limited  on the screen until I went to Share the post when I was prompted with this:


This is very similar to when I wrote about protected Twitter accounts, sure you can protect your account, but any follower you approve can subsequently retweet or share your tweets with others.

I think Circles are going to lull people in to a false sense of security that when they share with a Circle it will stay within that circle only.  A simple pop up warning isn’t going to do it.  I am all for sharing just make sure you understand who you are sharing what information with, and what potential path that information may travel.

2 Responses to The Fallacy of Circles
  1. Joe
    July 7, 2011 | 10:40 am

    You can disable resharing on your posts by clicking the drop-down action list (downward triangle) on your post. Though, I do agree that it should work the other way. You should be able to set a “Disable reshare by default” option, at which point, you would use the action list to enable resharing.

  2. Chris Pepin
    July 18, 2011 | 7:31 pm

    I think it’s great to see FaceBook get some competition in this space. Circles is a cool feature but arguably it’s too complicated for most FaceBook users who don’t use lists and are focused on whether or not someone is a friend. Google+ is fully of features that will appeal to geeks which is a good thing for us geeks :-). One of the key values I see of Google+ is that it will promote the usage of other Google services (Gmail, Picasa, Docs etc.)