Google+ (Plus) Early Update: Gender Can Be Seen Or Not

When you are creating a profile on a social network, something that generally doesn’t cause any of us a problem is Gender. Now we have heard that Google+ (aka Plus) is getting an early update where Gender can be seen or not seen. Now I know what you are thinking, there’s a story behind this…

Well, Google’s group project manager Christian Oestlien has added a blog post where the guys at Ford were creating a profile on Google+. They hit a slight stumbling block when asked about Gender and Oestlien explains that it was an awkward moment for them when they had to decide if it was Male or Female.

With that being the case, Google’s development team has decided to make a few changes to accommodate such things as explained over on Mashable by Todd Wasserman. He mentions that users will be able to adjust the privacy settings of each Google+ profile to remove any personal information such as Gender and Date of Birth if you so wish.

There’s also a video which you can view at the bottom of the article where product manager Frances Haugen tells us that Gender can be a sensitive subject especially on the Internet. In the couple of minutes that she is talking, Haugen manages to explain about the things that Google+ will say in order to swerve away from the issue of Gender.

Where Google would normally use pro-nouns such as “her” and “his” depending on the setting you have determines what Google would write on your profile. Haugen describes the language that Google will use as “Gender Neutral” if you set the gender to not be seen by the public, whenever someone else encounters gender related things on Google+ the words “her” and “his” will be replaced with “their.”

So as an example, say I had my privacy settings with the Gender hidden and added you to one of my circles, normally Google+ would say “Tim added you to his circles,” it will now be changed to “Tim added you to their circles.” This is grammatically questionable but we think they can get away with it; they have managed to get around it fairly well without using the pro-nouns that would normally be associated with such a statement. If you want to go ahead and make the changes for yourself then watch the video from 1:40 for a step by step on how to update your privacy settings on Google+.

What do you think of Google’s decision to be able to hide your Gender? Let us know in the comments section below.