Google Docs Bug Restricts Users From Accessing Files
Google Docs has become the go-to service for many users when it comes to document functions. Be it word processing, managing spreadsheets or creating presentations, Google Docs has been the tool of choice. Google’s document creation and sharing service is home to billions of documents stored by users from around the world.
A large number of Google Docs users found themselves in a rather strange situation today where they were unable to access their files. Users were suddenly restricted from accessing their document due to ‘violating Google’s Terms of Service’.
However, if you were getting this error earlier today, do not panic. It was a glitch in Google’s servers which the company has quickly resolved. While the Google docs users were blocked from restricting their documents under the pretext of violating Google’s Terms of Service, in reality none of these documents were doing so.
This however, raises more questions. This incident with Google Docs tells us that Google’s AI and Machine Learning systems are constantly monitoring all content. Moreover, this is a process that is happening in real-time. Even a minor glitch in this AI can cause such problems where users cannot access their own files. Questions over privacy too, have been raised following this incident.
Google released an official statement on this error, saying: “We made a code push that incorrectly flagged a small percentage of Google Docs as abusive, which caused those documents to be automatically blocked. A fix is in place and all users should have full access to their docs. Protecting users from viruses, malware, and other abusive content is central to user safety. We apologise for the disruption and will put processes in place to prevent this from happening again.”
A number of journalists too have lashed out at Google for having their AI constantly tracking what is being shared and stored on Google Docs.
Content That Actually Violates Google’s ToS
In case you are wondering what kind of content Google Docs does not allow you to share online – it is mostly spam, violent or hate speech, pornography, the spread of confidential information. Moreover, this applies only to shared files – which is why only shared files were affected by this bug.