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Google to roll out fix for Google+ Events spam

Google is rolling out a fix to its social network to stop the influx of spam that hit the newly released Google+ Events feature.

In response to complaints from actor Wil Wheaton, Vic Gundotra, Google's senior vice president of social, promised in a Google+ comment to fix the problem.

"We should have contemplated and anticipated how people would abuse this and how painful this could be for celebrities with large followings," Gundotra wrote.

Google+ Events was unveiled at the Google I/O keynote on 27 June. Unlike services like Evite or Facebook's events function, the party doesn't stop when the invites go out - it works before, during, and after a party, the company boasted. "Party Mode," for example, adds all photos from the event to Google+.

The feature sparked interest from legitimate users and pranksters alike. Users were inundated with invites, all of which were automatically added to their calendars, whether they were going or not. Wheaton said multiple invites were "clogging up my timeline," like "Something in Columbia" and "Not Giving A F**k Friday."

"Cute, sure, but useless to me and unwanted," Wheaton said of the latter. "Funny if you only send it to your friends, not funny at all when you're sending it to a crapton of people who don't know you. I get so many of these, I want to scream."

Wheaton's post actually prompted even more spam, including an event called "Watch Wil Wheaton Freak Out."

Wheaton requested that Google+ users have more control over Events, and Gundotra later said Google was "doing exactly what you requested."

"We have pushed a number of fixes yesterday (some were bug fixes that showed up at scale). Expect more fixes today. Sorry for the trouble Will," Gundotra wrote.

Wheaton wasn't the only one hit by Events spam, however. On Twitter, other Google+ users complained about unwanted invites.

"I haven't used Google+ in a while, but I am getting spam email invites to events by people I don't know. Awesome," wrote @Miranda_Dragon.

"The Google+ Events spam has begun. Can't figure out what setting to turn off so I only get event invites from peeps I actually know?" @pamelafox chimed in.

As TechCrunch pointed out, there is a way to stop the spam until the fix rolls out. Go to Google Calendar, click the circular icon on the far right and select Settings. Scroll down to "Show events you have declined" and Select "No," and switch "Automatically add invitations to my calendar" to "No, only show invitations to which I have responded."