Last month, I wrote about a reader who wrote in stating that Google Collections – now known as “Saved on Google” or “Google Save” – slapped them on the wrist for violating the terms of service for what web items you can save in a Collection. At the time, I assumed in good nature that the user had simply stored something copy written, and informed you all that you should be sure that whatever you store does not violate the terms Google has set forth for the service.
Google Collections goes off the deep end
Now, in a strange turn of events, I too am apparently doing just that, and have been repeatedly dinged by Google for storing allegedly terrible products in my “Household wishlist” collection. The first of these emails I received recently came knocking stating that a 105 piece rose gold plastic dinnerware set I saved is apparently a violation of the Collections terms of service. Unfortunately, the link leads to the product having been removed from the web, so I initially thought this was what triggered the tech giant’s system.
However, I received two other emails as of late that led to products that still exist on the web today. One was a POGs-style kids game, and the other is a literal sofa from Google Shopping. As you can see from the images below, neither product, so far as I can see, is offensive or inappropriate.
Should you continue to use the service?
Despite this, these emails from Google are, in fact, legitimate, and give me pause for the idea of continuing my use of the service. If Google’s ID system tags me as a repeat offender for saving content like dinnerware and furniture for later purchase, I’m worried that I could lose my Google Account!
This is one thing to be wary of when using large services from corporations like Google. I hope that I receive an email stating that these were flagged in error, but so far, I’ve not seen anything of the sort, and the email is a no-reply.
I love Google Collections, but…
I’ve written about Google Collections a ton of times, and have praised it, made tutorials for how to curate your own content and more – even when no one else seemed to believe in it – and it would be a shame if Google’s beginning to employ some new kind of artificial intelligence internally to monitor its users actions and take down content.
It’s good to have a backup plan
This is why I’m a big advocate of periodically backing up your data through Google Takeout and making sure you have an exit strategy. I’ve never received emails like this before, but it’s clear that my favorite Google service has lost its mind entirely.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve received flags like this for normal, every day items, and if so, what they are. I’ll try to reach out to Google for a direct response on this, and will update the article if I receive a reply. Until then, you may want to consider going back to good old bookmarks and Takeout. I know, I never thought I would say such a thing, but here we are.