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Google Gmail cockup angers users

Some Gmail (opens in new tab) users have had a nasty surprise on Friday morning when they attempted to access their account.

They discovered that Google had accidentally disabled their email accounts in an attempt to ban spammers who use free Gmail accounts to spread their filth.

Innocent users have been caught in the crossfire as Google started to act as early as Thursday.

However, Google has acknowledged the problem and has been working on re-instating the accounts that were mistakenly disabled; pointing out to the fact that none of the accounts have been deleted

As of this morning, more than 150 people have posted their complaints on Google Groups (opens in new tab).

Some users have also noticed that their Google accounts had also been disabled - which would prevent them from logging into everything from Gmail to Picasa and even Youtube.

Google told PC Pro (opens in new tab) that "We've been targeting a large network of spammers to keep them out of the Gmail system and accidentally disabled access to some other accounts. We've restored access to these accounts. We know how important Gmail is to our users, so we encourage them to report any issues to the Gmail Help Center."

Since Gmail is a free service, there's not much that one can do if ever there's a problem with the service except use a POP3 service to back up the emails on your hard disk drive.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.