Perhaps one day you have a particularly tasty slice of pizza and decide to rate the restaurant on Google Plus Local.
“Mmm, delicious slice!” you write, adding a four out of five star rating.
The next day, don’t be surprised when you get to Google and see an ad for that pizza joint with a glowing recommendation – from you.
Google announced a change to its Terms of Service Friday, letting Google users know that their follows, comments, shares, ratings, and +1s could end up on advertising.
Erm, no. A recommendation from me to my buddies on social media does not give advertisers a license to use my face, name and words. Seriously, what the hell are they thinking?
I can’t wait until some social media-using quasi-celebrity (let’s say, I dunno, Christian pop singer Natalie Grant) gives her Chick-fil-A sandwich a +1 and suddenly finds her picture and words used in an ad. Celebs tend to get big bucks for their product endorsements; I don’t see this ending well for anyone.
There are a few ways around this. One: don’t use Google Plus (I don’t.) Two: if you must use Google, you can change your privacy settings to opt out of this unwanted invasion of privacy. Or thirdly, do what I’m going to do. Don’t give good recommendations. Ever. Just give negative ones. If a place is good, the free hand of the market will magically lift its name up above all the rest — eventually. If a place sucks, the world will know, and nobody will want to run an ad with a lousy review, so you’re safe.