Remember when we talked about Google Collections getting a fresh coat of paint and rebranding to “Google Save” or “Saved on Google”? Well, I’ve got a follow-up tale that’s both intriguing and a little cautionary.
A reader recently shared a curious incident in the comments of that article. Instead of using Google Save for bookmarking their favorite recipes or vacation spots, they were using the service to save links to streaming sites. While not specified, they indicated these were not links to Netflix shows. This led to a surprise from Google in the form of an email and a gentle, yet firm, rap on the knuckles.
Now, check out the screenshot below. Notice that phrase? “Moderation of an item in your collection in saved”. It’s Google’s way of letting you know you’ve accidentally saved something “sus”. Essentially, Google isn’t too pleased when users save images, links, or content that might be dancing on the wrong side of their policies, and I don’t blame them! Still, it’s something many don’t consider when starting to use a new service until the big G comes knocking.
Google pointed out the name of the user’s collection, the title and URL of the offending item, the exact policy that was violated, and the corrective action taken. For our reader friend here, Google had hidden the link both from their collection and from any pals they’d shared that collection with.
The red flag that went up in Google’s system? From what I could gather, it’s the violation of the “Copyright Content” policy. I can only speculate here, but perhaps the streaming site they’d saved wasn’t quite on the up-and-up when it came to copyrighted content.
Here’s the moral of the story – Google Save is fantastic for many things, be it sparking ideas for your goals, building mood boards for game dev, or collecting your favorite videogames into playlists. However, it’s wise to tread carefully. As great as it might feel to skip that Netflix subscription fee, a stroll down the shady alleyway of streaming sites isn’t the best idea.
Not only might you fall foul of Google’s watchful eye, but you’re also wading into potentially sketchy waters. Wondering where the line is? Google’s content policy will shed some light on it. Stay curious, but also, stay on the right side of the digital tracks. Have fun collecting!