Business

Google Docs error locks out users

Posted October 31, 2017 12:26 p.m. EDT

— Some Google Docs users found themselves locked out of their documents on Tuesday after the company flagged harmless files as "inappropriate."

Those locked out of their documents included reporters collaborating on articles, a document on academic software engineering, a study guide, and a user working on a pathology lab report.

"This message has been flagged as inappropriate and can no longer be shared," reads a message some users received.

It's unclear why some users are receiving this message.

A Google spokesperson said the company is investigating reports of an issue with Google Docs. The company did not provide additional information.

The Google Docs locking error appears fairly widespread -- the product's Twitter feed is filled with responses to concerned users wanting access to their documents.

According to Google's abuse policies, people can report individual documents for violating the terms of service. Prohibited content includes malware, violence, hate speech, harassment, and sexually explicit material, among other things.

Google's terms of service explain its automated systems analyze user content "to provide you personally relevant product features, such as customized search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection."