Why Hide Public Google+ Community Posts on your Profile?

The term "Public" is a precious notion.

Make a "public" post on Google+ and it is visible to anyone with an internet connection.

It is attributed to you, your identity, indexed (hopefully) for search and associated with your profile.
Or was until now.


The latest update to Google+ is an option to hide community posts on your public profile. I think it was a bad move.

There had been lots of talk on this subject (here are a few posts), and it's something a lot of people have asked for: but why?

Some people did not like the cluttered appearance it gave to their profile. That seemed stupid to me too. You see all your content in your stream (your posts), but other people see what you let them: so it's not cluttered for them. Only you.

There could have been lots of ways or dealing with how your stream (your posts on your posts tab) is shown to you.

A simple "Filter posts by ..." (see mock-up right) could have helped people deal with "the clutter".

Logically all your post activity should be available to you on your posts tab.
I checkin a lot, so there are lots of "checkin posts" in my stream. Most of those are only visible to me, because that's the way I like it. If you can see a checkin post of mine it's because I wanted you to.

So why hide community posts on your profile?

Community Spam
The the only reason, appart form "clutter" I can personally find, why one would want to hide public community posts on your profile would be if you wanted to post the same thing in lots of different communities.

In other words if you wanted to SPAM communities and hide that on your public profile.

Join > Spam > Move on

This unsavory type of behavior has was happening before the update, but it was easy to spot

You could see it on their profile!

Now evidence of spamming requires some searching for, and only community moderators will know what to search for!

No spam shown on the posters profile
That's why I think the last Google+ update was stupid (unless I'm missing something).
  • The update didn't serve the platform
  • It was a reaction to crowd pressure
  • It will serve the spammers
/ht to +Thomas Morffew for help acquiring the screenshots.


Google+ discussion around this post and a more recent example of spamming by hiding community posts.

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