Google has introduced a new feature for Google Drive users which will allow them to block people. The new feature is expected to deal with the issue of spam on the cloud storage platform. The search giant had first announced that they are working on the feature in May this year. The new feature will be rolling out over the next two weeks.

Google Drive users can block certain accounts that will stop those accounts from sharing files with them. According to the company this move is designed to prevent potential harassment and spam on the platform.

Additionally, the new feature also stops accounts from accessing any files you have shared with them in the past and removes any of their past files from your drive. Once the user blocks an account the blocked individual/organisation will also be prevented from interacting with the user across other Google services like Hangouts and Chat.

According to Google’s support page, the option to block a user will appear if you right-click a file that they have shared with you in Drive. There is also an option to unblock users later if you change your mind.

“Drive’s sharing capabilities fuel productivity and collaboration, but bad actors can abuse tools that are meant to facilitate helpful sharing,” Google’s announcement post said.

“That’s why we are creating a way to block other users,” the announcement continued.

The upcoming feature came after a report from a news outlet highlighted an instance where a user was unable to remove a shared folder from an abusive ex-partner from their Drive. Because the folder contained innocuous photographs, Drive’s existing “report as abuse” feature wasn’t an appropriate response, and the service’s design made it difficult to permanently remove the files otherwise.

It is an important admission that sharing features can easily be abused by bad actors, even when they are a part of a service that is not a traditional social network.

The new feature is available for both Google Workspace customers and personal account holders.

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