After I found out what Google Buzz was doing, I turned it off as quickly as possible.
…or did I?
As if there weren’t already enough layers in this cake of failure, apparently the link at the bottom of GMail that said “Turn off Buzz” does not actually turn off Buzz – it removes the Buzz cruft from the GMail interface, but it leaves you in the network.
So in an attempt to really and truly escape from Buzz, I went to my Google profile page, where I found a checkbox (checked by default!) saying “Display the list of people I’m following and people following me”:
I unchecked that. Then I went to my GMail account, clicked on Settings, and found the same option again. There was also a link that said “Disable Google Buzz”, which sounded pretty good, so I clicked that too:
So now I should be completely out of the woods, right? To double-check, I went and took a look at the public Google profile of Aza, one of my friends who was actively using Buzz. And there I saw a message that said “Aza is following you”:
Aza is following me? So is Buzz really turned off or not? I’m still not sure what’s going on here.
[Edited to add]: Apparently I needed to turn Buzz back on so that I could go in and click “block” on each follower, one by one, until the list was empty, and then turn it off again.