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I’ve been using Google Plus almost as long as it has been around, which is a sneaky way of saying I am a noob to it :) Frankly, at this point I do not see anything particularly novel or sensational. I just haven’t seen the killer feature that will vanquish the Facebook megalith, but perhaps I am just not enough of a visionary. I do however think I am missing something really big about Google Plus because Mark Zuckerberg is redefining terms in order to manufacture a reason to criticize Google Plus. If Mark had a real criticism you know he would say it, but when Mark is redefining common terms in order to build something to criticize it makes me think he sees something ground breaking in Google Plus, so perhaps I should pay a bit more attention.
In an interview with TechCrunch Zuckerberg is quoted as saying “The definition of groups is . . . everyone inside the group knows who else is in the group”
There is absolutely nothing in the definition of groups that says everyone inside the group knows who else is in the group. Do you really think that everyone inside of Alcoholics Anonymous knows every other person in the group? Do you think every Catholic knows who every other catholic is? I’m on closed mailing lists and I don’t know everyone who is on some of the lists.
We must arrive at one of two conclusions. Either Mark Zuckerberg is ignorant of what a group is, or he is lying. It just seems highly improbable that Zuckerberg got into Harvard without knowing what a group is. By the way, students at Harvard are a group. Do you think Mark knew every other student at Harvard? Students who have ever attended Harvard are another group. Do you think that Zuckerberg knows every student who ever attended Harvard?
This leaves us with the logical conclusion that Zuckerberg was lying about Google Plus and you have to wonder why he would do that. Occam’s razor would suggest that Zuckerberg is really scared of Google Plus and being unable to find enough to criticize about it he had to manufacture criticism by redefining the term “group” in order to attack something about Google Plus.
If Zuckerberg is so scared that he’s engaging in a public misinformation campaign then maybe I am missing something about Google Plus… perhaps it does have significant potential.
Director of Technical Education
Cyber Threat Analysis Center
ESET North America
Author ESET Research, ESET