April 22, 2009

Google Reader Limits Your RSS Article Spam Potential

As Google Reader is my main jumping off point to gather all the news of the day, it's no secret the RSS reader also plays a major role in how I help distribute the news, be it through hitting share to add items to my link blog, or by e-mailing articles out to others. In October I mentioned how e-mailing RSS pieces can help to evangelize the service, and I've continued to make it something I do, for friends or for colleagues. But of late, I've found more restrictions being added that make it seem people have maliciously mass distributed articles out of Reader, so more safeguards have been added to slow me down.

Captcha me if you can

The first and most noticeable addition is that of a captcha, which requires you to fill it out each time you e-mail an article out of Google Reader. The minor annoyance didn't use to be there until recently, and presents the opportunity to test how well you read words that are slanted and blurred every which way.

Thou shalt not e-mail your entire address book this article

The second addition, which I just ran into today, is a cap to the number of people you can send an article to. While at the office it's no rarity to forward news to a dozen or more people, Google Reader now stops you once you pass ten recipients. This means that I will have to be more selective for whom I choose to send updates, and just maybe those left off will feel left out.

Having said limits in Google Reader won't dramatically change the way I use the service, with the exception of being more picky about my recipient lists, but I have to wonder who was violating protocol so much that this became a necessity. What robots do you think were mass e-mailing articles to all of their cyber buddies?