Don't let my hidden group membership show up in Google.
When have my group membership hidden within MeetUp.com, I don't want to see my group membership show up in a Google search. That's a violation of my privacy and makes me want to leave meetup.
Meetup could automatically remove the offending entry in the google index by including a <meta name=robots content="noindex, nocache" > to the head of these pages and submitting them to google to be crawled.
Meetup could also have a form where users could request the offending pages be removed directly by the meetup webmaster through google's webmaster tools (which takes less than 24 hours).
Meetup.com has complete control over this process and is the only who can accomplish removal.
If I do a google search of my full name, I can find a picture of myself from meetup, groups I am assigned to and also groups I am on a waiting list for? I didn't realise I was on a waiting list for any groups. Could security be increased and could profiles be more private as I would prefer for people to only be able to view me through meetup rather than on a general google search.
I search for the email account used for MeetUp and my activities on MeetUp show up on Google search results. Please can you Hide/Block activities so that they don't appears to all internet users. Also, maybe give me the option of who my activities do show up to (only people in my group, only in certain groups, only on MeetUp friends).
I have my facebook very private so I figured that when I connected through my facebook account, that would also be private. I am so upset that you can now search my name and find out about my health condition.
Hidden group memberships will not show up in Google. Keep in mind, if they were public at one point and then you switched to hide them, it can take some time for the update to be reflected when you Google your name.
This is still a problem and meetup is acting negligently by not taking immediate steps to correct this situation.
Meetup is in total control to get this information removed from google's search results. Claiming they have no control over google's index is pure BS.
My membership affiliation is still visible in the search results and will continue to stay that way until Meetup adds
<meta name="robots" content="noindex, noarchive"> to the head of these webpages.
They could also provide a form we could use to submit the removal request. They could submit the request to google (they are the only way to get this removed) and it takes less than 24 hours.
Matt (director of product) claims they will be removed in time...but they will never be removed until Meetup includes the proper meta tags to these pages.
Simon Waddington commented
The removal suggestion does't work because Google says the group profile pages are accessible to the world (or at least it's search engine) and therefore will not delete the info it is holding. There seems to be nothing I can do to make my group profile pages show up in Google, thanks Meetup - very suboptimal and I'm hardly surprised people are upset!
Girl with a Hoop commented
This is a huge problem and as a result I have left Meetup. Right now, if you search my name, the first result is a transgender meetup group. This is a very negative situation and could lead to harassment or worse. :(
Girl with a Hoop commented
I absolutely agree! If you Google my name, the first result to come up is a transgender group. This is both embarrassing and dangerous for me.
I just did a google search and found not only my group affiliations (including those I consider more sensitive to employers like my athiest group) but also all comments and introductions I have posted. I like meetup, but not enough to jeopardize my privacy! I will be deleting this today and will recommend that others I know do the same.
Avery certainly is rude and sarcastic! Hope they are not a meetup employee-I wouldn't want my company represented by such a douch
Meetup - unacceptable. I thought you were cool until this. If you say hidden, you should mean it.
Steven Morrisroe commented
"You Have Zero Privacy Anyway. Get Over It" ~Scott McNealy, co-founder Sun Microsystems.
You should never put anything online you don't want anyone to see. Also, as others have said, just use different name or no last name if you are concerned.
@Janelle, as one commenter in this thread noted, MeetUp is about making itself highly visible in web searches and thus it's unlikely they will change their publishing policy, especially after reading Tegan comments concerning the subject. Her attitude is: "It's a public site, don't put personal info you don't want others seeing on it." While that is true, when they claim something is hidden, it should be.
i agree. unfortunately someone has started a new topic for this so i hope meetup have added the votes together because this really needs to change. i consider leaving meetup for this reason too. i love meetup but honestly i can't have my details coming up in google results. MEETUP, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!
i totally agree. i had the same problem where my personal details and a photo of me appeared in google after i started a meetup page. i changed my contact details and it took days for google to update their search results to remove my info from meetup, and i was absolutely horrified. MEETUP: THIS IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
Wow. I haven't looked in this forum for a while and was unaware of this situation. NOTE TO MEETUP.com: I hope you've consulted with an attorney about this because this sounds like good grounds for a MESSY class action. When Meetup let's stuff like this happen, it convinces me that the company is run by kids.
Yes I absolutely agree with you, not cool at all!
I should be more clear: Google does crawl the web looking for content but MeetUp allows direct access. It's not a question of security or controls being compromised as Avery suggests. MeetUp allows direct access and has control over what get published to Google:
However, Tegan, a MeetUp employee, makes it seem as if they have no control over which content gets accessed, which is complete bunk, according to the previous article.
As always, if you don't want you name (or any identifying information) associated with web-content don't use it, although many do for business and social contact reasons (i.e. Facebook, etc). There are other instances where this is beyond our control. For example, search for your full name and city in Google and look at Spokeo.com hits and you likely find a list of your partial addresses. Pretty scary. The principle in violation here is that MeetUp claims it's group membership hidden when in reality they allow access by Google and other search engines. Just beware they are a public site and offer only limited forms of privacy.
@Avery - MeetUp publishes any web content that shows up in Google, even though their users think their group memberships are hidden due to their false claim.
Sorry, Joy but "work around" implies something doesn't work as it is intended as in this case and this is unacceptable. If my membership is stated as hidden, it should be hidden and MeetUp doesn't need to publish individual group membership to search engines if users ask that this information not be. Personally, I'm not a member of any groups that I am embarrassed about, but others have had this problem and it's the principle at issue. MeetUp shouldn't state group membership is hidden if it's not.
A work around to this is to just use your first name, not your full name with Meetup. I'm an organizer for a Meetup group and I only use my first name. Obviously, there are ways to find out my last name, especially since my group has a Facebook page. However, if I type my full name + meetup into google, no results. Plus, my profile isn't even private. So what I'd suggest is to simply change your profile name in Meetup to just your first name. Of course, that's not going to prevent your past Meetup activity from showing up in Google, but it should help going forward.
@Avery, to google yourself, you simply go to google.com and input your name. You can also include your name + your city or your name + Meetup to narrow your results.
As others have said, there is no true privacy on social media groups. If your privacy is that important, and I certainly understand why, I suggest keeping groupon and meetup separate. In addition, you can set up a different email address than what you usually use, and use a fake name or only your first name. I have only my first name on my meetup account.
Elizabeth V. commented
That, on every level is dangerous -- how can meetup get away with this? As it is, many of us join groups to support friends and family members to and that puts their privacy at risk for employers and medical benefit / insurance / credit rating / renting / and anything else that could affect daily living.