Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Google Docs Glitch Blocks Files for TOS Violations

Louise Matsakis (via Hacker News):

Google Docs, the collaborative, cloud-based word processing software, appears to be randomly flagging files for supposedly “violating” Google’s Terms of Service. A member of Motherboard’s team, as well as numerous users on Twitter, report that their documents are being locked for no apparent reason. Once a document is flagged, the owner of that document can no longer share it with other users. Users who have already been shared on a document that’s been flagged are kicked out and can no longer access it.


No matter what's causing the Google Docs bug, the issue is a pertinent reminder that you don't really have control over the content you put on the internet. The documents you create and save on Google Drive are ultimately controlled by Google—even if they can feel like they belong to us.

Maya Salamo:

“This shows that Google is using advanced machine learning and other A.I. technologies to examine vast amounts of information in near real time,” Dana Gardner, a leading cloud expert and a principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions, said on Tuesday.


A Google spokesman said in a statement that a “code push” caused a small percentage of Google Docs to be incorrectly flagged as abusive, which caused them to be automatically blocked.

“A fix is in place and all users should have full access to their docs,” the statement said. “Protecting users from viruses, malware and other abusive content is central to user safety. We apologize for the disruption and will put processes in place to prevent this from happening again.”

Mr. Gardner said the complexity of the technology and its widespread use carried considerable risks. “A small tweak to the rules on what to flag or not can produce false positives like we saw today,” he said.

1 Comment RSS · Twitter

AI will destroy civilization. It will not become sentient, perceive humans as its enemy, and build terminators to wipe us out to ensure its own survival. It will remain non-sentient, functioning logically to serve its original intended purpose, and somehow the building of terminators will automatically result from that. And they will be delivered right to your doorstep by Amazon drones.

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