Google Makes Your Movie and TV Reviews Visible on a New Profile Page | TechCrunch - Latest Global News

Google Makes Your Movie and TV Reviews Visible on a New Profile Page | TechCrunch

Starting June 24, Google will make all of your movie, TV show, book, album and game reviews visible on a profile page, according to an email sent to users last month. These profiles will also be discoverable through Google searches, which may lead to users being profiled based on their likes and dislikes.

The company first introduced the ability to publish movie reviews for users in India in 2017. Over the years, it has expanded the feature globally. Last year, the company told TechCrunch that it had made review profiles public and searchable in some regions, starting with the US and India. Now, all profiles are being made public globally.

Essentially, you can click on any user profile and see all the reviews that user has posted. Google told TechCrunch that the company provides a toggle to make one’s profile private, but that toggle wasn’t available until earlier this week, SEO consultant Gagan Ghotra and TechCrunch noted.

“Profiles make it easier for people to see and manage their reviews of things like movies and TV shows in one place and make reviews more helpful to others. These reviews were already public, and we’re giving people the control to make their profile private or delete it entirely, along with options to privately edit or delete their reviews,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement to TechCrunch.

Google also makes all profiles public by default, meaning if you didn’t know you had a profile page with your reviews, or if you weren’t paying attention to emails from Google (which might have ended up in your spam or updates folder on Gmail), your profile is visible to everyone.

The company told TechCrunch that it sent users notifications about the profile hiding through the Google profile interface. It also notified users about the new Google profile via a pop-up in their existing reviews. But if users don’t know a new profile exists, they’re unlikely to visit the page. And there’s little chance you’ll frequently read your own review of a show or movie. Google needs to put more effort into informing the user about an entirely new page linked to their account.

Google will display a pop-up notification on your profile page informing you that the profile page will be made public if they know it exists. Photo credits: Screenshot from TechCrunch

Ghotra told TechCrunch in a direct message that searchable profiles could also be used by potential employers to learn the opinions of their future employees, which impacts their chances of being hired. They also make them an easy target for advertisers who use that data to serve users with targeted ads.

How to hide your profile

To make your preview profile private:

  • Go to profile.google.com
  • Click/tap the three-dot menu next to your profile name
  • Select the entry “Profile options”
  • Activate the “Profile privacy” switch.
Photo credits: Screenshot from TechCrunch

Even if you hide your profile, your individual reviews will still be visible under the title of a movie or TV show, but you won’t see a link to a page with all your reviews. In particular, your reviews on Google Maps will not be affected by this rollout.

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