The backlash refers specifically to the note under Chat in Gmail that said “Reminder: Call dad” all day. […]
Albeit micro, ‘Reminder: Call dad’ is just one more example of Google not entirely grasping social niceties. It should be obvious that putting up a status message that’s offensive to some users (especially users whose fathers have passed away, or were abusive, et al.), in a place that most people consider private, might not go over well. But it wasn’t.
Social networks: Facebook is evil and manipulative; Google is just autistic. We’re setting ourselves up for such a great future.