Over the past year, Google’s services have been hit with some pretty coordinated spamming efforts by unknown third parties. Both Google Drive and Calendar have experienced overwhelming problems with unwanted file and event sharing occurrences, and due to the nature of how sharing works, it’s nearly impossible to squash this.
Google has attempted to implement preventative solutions, and while those have been practical, they were also short-term. Essentially, once you receive spam from someone, the company allows you to block them and no longer receive interactions from them via any Google services. The issue with this is that spammers just create a new domain, and new emails, targeting users once more.
Artem Russakovskii shared on Twitter (warning, NSFW) that some of these spam invitations have messages attached to them, and let’s just say that they’re…not safe for work or students’ eyes. Being that Google Classroom is, well, meant for the classroom, this is entirely unacceptable and disgusting beyond belief. I hope that Google addresses this somehow and quickly so that younger audiences who are just trying to submit their homework do not see this.
Without looking at the link, it works like this – spammers create a free account on Google Classroom and then create an invitation to an email address they’ve collected from elsewhere on the internet illegally. Then, they fill out the invitation description with vulgar things and send it off. There’s literally no barrier preventing them from doing this, and that’s scary.
Even by toggling off “Email notifications” in Classroom, a user will still receive these invites full of vile nonsense, so students and teachers truly are powerless until the tech giant finds a solution. Let me know in the comments if you’re also having these problems. Others have reported the same troubles across Google Forms and other services as well, so it looks like some major action will need to be taken before long to preserve the user experience for those affected.