google plus redirecting event invites
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Google Plus Redirecting Event Invites

Social networks, what a great tool for connecting people, allowing people to find each other after years of absence and organise to reunite at some point, perhaps at a picnic, in a park, in the summer…unless of course you have angered or simply confused the google plus gods by deleting your profile

When Google+ launched I was already rather annoyed at how Facebook handled things such as privacy and I was still fairly happy with how the big G handled most things, so I signed up.

When the Nym Wars broke out I decided that this was not somewhere I really wanted to be either, and before people got too used to being able to find me on G+ I would just bug the fuck out and leave.

Fast forward to last week ago. I was talking to Udo on IM and the following exchange occurred, paraphrased somewhat;

Udo: I just resent an invite to the picnic.

Me: What picnic?

Udo: The one I sent you an invite to.

Me: I got no invite, where did you send it?

Udo: Through G+

Me: I’m not on G+

Udo: Yes, you are

Well, I was a little surprised so I went and did some experiments.

I already had a Gmail identity before I created a G+ profile so that I could use other Google tools. I never, ever, ever use this account for email. Every now and again I go in and delete everything that Google sent it from places like Youtube or Analytics but that’s about it.

This account had my main email address listed as a secondary that could be used to log in and was also set as the account recovery email address.

Udo had me included in his circles by email address, whether or not I was in his circles whilst I had my G+ account up and running I am not entirely sure, but it is highly likely.

So my quick test was to create a brand new Gmail account, add a G+ profile, add myself to a circle using my main email address and then send out an event invitation.

The invitation ended up in my Google mail inbox, never received by my email server when I was watching the logs so I know it didn’t even get misfiled, Google never even attempted to deliver it to the address it was intended for. I find that kind of fucked in the eye quite frankly.

I think most people would find this behaviour to be some kind of bug. The G+ user has specified that they have a friend at a particular email address and Google has decided that the even invitation should be sent to a completely different email address. Why? I suppose because they want people to use G+.

I went and broke the association between my Google email address and my main email address and tried again. The event invitation then got to my main email address as I would have expected.

It shows a great deal of presumption on Google’s part that they use the fact that you have set your account recovery address to be one that people have included in their G+ circles they think it is fine to deliver invitations to that Google mail address instead of the one the person added to their G+ circle. Either that or it’s a bug. I think the former is more likely, let me know I’m wrong Google.

This was a quick test and I can’t really be bothered to do any more but if you want people on G+ to be able to invite you to things in a timely fashion I would break any association there is between you main email address and your Google account. I am lucky that I can add extra aliases at will so now I have an alias specifically as my Google account recovery address.


23 July 2013 - google plus email fail

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