Google+'s own special brand of stupidity

G+ is now open for business -- literally. But Google+ Pages is a wet hot mess that makes it too easy for fakers to hijack your business online. UPDATE: G+ responds.

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There are two problems here. Obviously I just hijacked the doc’s presence on one of the largest social networks on the planet. More important though: What if I didn’t like him? What if I decided I was going to use this page to smear his reputation on G+ by posting really hateful stuff? There’s little a business owner can do to prevent this beforehand.

Yes, you can report profiles for impersonation, copyright violations, or just being fake, and presumably Google will nuke them – but you have to know about them first. And here’s an ironic twist: If you’re reporting that someone is pretending to be you, you need to submit a scan of a photo ID.

Somebody faking you on G+? Be prepared to jump through hoops to prove it.Somebody faking you on G+? Be prepared to jump through hoops to prove it.

If you’re reporting a fake company profile, you need to be an authorized representative of the company, and prove it by submitting your ID or adding a snippet of Google code to your company Web site.

In other words, the fake isn’t required to authenticate his or her identity, but you are. Think about that for a minute.

Want to know how bad Google+ Pages is? Even Robert Scoble doesn’t like it, and he likes Google+ the way bees like honey.

What this means, of course: If you’ve got a business that uses social media, you need to high tail it over to G+ and sign up for a brand page before somebody else does it for you. Which means Google is either incredibly inept or extremely cunning.

The cynic in me is leaning toward the latter. How about you?

UPDATE: Eight days after I created that fake Disney page, G+ finally cottoned on and suspended it. It's unclear whether they found it on their own or somebody (ahem) ratted me out.

Mickey finally gets subtracted from Google+Mickey finally gets subtracted from Google+

Got a question about social media? TY4NS blogger Dan Tynan may have the answer (and if not, he’ll make something up). Visit his snarky, occasionally NSFW blog eSarcasm or follow him on Twitter: @tynan_on_tech. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-to’s, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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