Star Trek's Wesley Crusher blasts Google+ landgrab

Wil Wheaton asks blogosphere to Stand By Him on Choc Factory outrage


A former Star Trek: The Next Generation actor, who is plastered all over the internet, has blasted Google for trying to force people into signing up to its social network.

Wil Wheaton, who played Wesley Crusher, son of chief medical officer Dr Beverly Crusher in the popular TV series, attacked Google after he discovered that anyone wanting to click on the "like" button on the video-sharing site is shepherded into Google+ – the company's latest attempt at trying to out-Facebook Facebook.

He wrote on his blog:

I like Google Plus. Some of the smartest people I've ever read are on Google Plus, and the Hangout is amazing.

But Google is doing everything it can to force Google Plus on everyone, and it's pissing me off.

Wheaton – a child actor who starred in Rob Reiner's schmaltzy, feel-good movie Stand By Me in 1986 – said he got a "rageface" after spotting that the Chocolate Factory was trying to shove people into Google+.

Wheaton also took to his Tumblr account to have a sweary moan about Mountain View's tactics.

"Oh, go fuck yourself, Google," he succinctly said.

"This is just as bad as companies forcing me to 'like' something on Facebook before I can view whatever it is they want me to 'like.' Just let me thumbs up something, without forcing me to 'upgrade' to G+, you dickheads."

The actor turned blogger – who has appeared as himself in several episodes of the US nerd sitcom The Big Bang Theory – complained that the "core" of his "tech-savvy" audience wouldn't want to "upgrade" to Google+, because, he opined, his fans don't care to join "yet another fucking social network they don’t want or need".

However, the erstwhile Trekkie does actually use Google+, and says he just wants the search giant to stop trying to herd its users into the company's social networking pit.

"By crippling functionality on sites Google owns (like YouTube) and forcing users to 'upgrade' to a service that they may not want or need to get that functionality back, Google is making a huge and annoying mistake," he said.

"You get people to enthusiastically use services by making them compelling and awesome and easy to use. You don't get people to enthusiastically use your services by forcing them to. In fact, that's probably a great way to ensure that a huge number of people who may have been interested in trying out your service never even look at it."

And his rant appeared to have paid off. YouTube, at time of writing, is currently displaying the old "thumbs up" and thumbs down" icons on its service rather than the G+ button that made Wheaton so mad. ®

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