Google has quietly rolled out some improvements to the spam control options for their Google+ social network. The new feature allows users to flag comments as inappropriate or abusive, and to block any future comments from the offending user.
The new controls come in the form of a little flag that appears in the lower right corner when you mouse over a comment. Moving the cursor to the flag brings up a “Report abuse or block” tag.
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Clicking the flag icon grays out and strikes through the text of the comment, and turns the flag into a gray caution symbol. Hovering over that brings up options to remove the comment, restore the comment, or remove it and block the commenter.
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If you click to remove and block the user, a larger window pops up warning you that the user will be removed from your circles and their content will no longer appear in your stream, nor will they be able to see your public posts or comment on your content. What’s more, you don’t have to worry about offending or angering the person you’re blocking, since they won’t be notified that they’ve been blocked.
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Fortunately, Google also seems to be aware that users may click the flag by accident or have a change of heart after clicking, because the entire process is reversible right up until you actually block the user.
Interestingly, you can report comments on other people’s content as well, and not just your own. Mousing over a comment on someone else’s post brings up the flag (without the X icon), allowing you to report the comment as inappropriate.
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What do you think of the new spam controls? Let us know in the comments.