Fact check? Stuff? Nah.

Our dear friends at Stuff and Nonsense have excelled themselves once again by rushing to print a hard-luck sob story without the most basic fact checking. If they can get the one provable fact in the story incorrect then there is little hope for the rest of the tale that they expect us to accept as accurate. Quote.

A woman whose 7-year-old son posted a video of his little sister’s buttocks on YouTube has lost access to her Gmail account that includes over 20 years of email. End quote.

Well that can’t be right. Here is my first email from Google, dated 9 September 2004 and stating that it was in test mode.

Gmail started as a limited beta release on April 1, 2004, and ended its testing phase on July 7, 2009. So even if this woman got an invite to join the test program on April 1, 2004 she still would not have 15 years of email for a few months. Hint to Stuff editorial team: The Internet has all manner of useful answers to questions. Quote.

The woman, who doesn’t want to be named, says her son used her account to post the three-second video in November and she’s been locked out of her YouTube and associated Gmail account ever since. End quote.

And why did your 7-year old son have access to your email account? Ever heard of passwords and/or screen locks? Quote.

Both products are owned by global internet giant Google, and users access the products with the same log-in details.

The video was online for nine minutes before being removed by YouTube.

She tried contacting Google but was told the only way to have her complaint addressed was to post a message to a public forum.

The post has gone unanswered.

She’s also written to Google, asking it to reconsider the decision to lock her out of her account but has been told the company will not reconsider.

The lock-out has resulted in her missing a parent-teacher interview, missing bills sent to her email and a delay in finding out that her cousin had died.

Her account also includes messages from two of her school friends that are now dead and 20 years of emails and photos from her family that live overseas. […]

“Sometimes it’s quite nice to look back at photos from your wedding day,” she said. End quote.

Stuff?

Why would anyone store anything as important as wedding photos in an email account? Let’s be generous and assume that the photos are in Google Photos which is linked to the same account and password. Why would you not have a copy under you own control? On the hard drive and on a USB back up and perhaps with another cloud provider.

And this, my friends, is ‘News’. Sigh!

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