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Weird Google Docs Bug Is Locking People Out of Their Drafts [Updated]

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Google Docs users have been hit with a nasty surprise today as they try to edit documents—they’re getting locked out of their drafts and receiving a message warning them that their documents violate Google’s terms of service.

The abuse policy for Docs and other Google Drive services forbids users from publishing a range of content, from malware to hate speech to copyrighted material. But most of the users who have encountered the problem so far seem to be working on pretty innocuous content that wouldn’t violate Google’s policies, which indicates that this is probably a glitch.


DownDetector is currently reporting Google Drive problems in the US and Europe. It sounds like the Drive team isn’t sure what’s going on yet. “The team has been made aware and is investigating. Appreciate your patience,” Google Drive’s official account tweeted.


Update 11:50 am:

A Google spokesperson said that the company is “investigating reports” of the Google Docs issue. “We will provide more information when appropriate,” the spokesperson said.


Update 2 3:40 pm:

A Google spokesperson sent the following explanation:“This morning, we made

a code push that incorrectly flagged a small percentage of Google Docs as abusive, which caused those documents to be automatically blocked. A fix is in place and all users should have full access to their docs. Protecting users from viruses, malware, and other abusive content is central to user safety. We apologize for the disruption and will put processes in place to prevent this from happening again.