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Topic: Spammed?

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Subject: Spammed?
Date Posted: 7/26/2009 11:51 AM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2008
Posts: 428
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Last night, I received what is basically a spam message through the PM system. It was an invitation to join a new swap that's just opened up on the games section. I don't play the games. I don't even read the genre the swap is based on. It was, as I said, spam. Is this something new?

This person was on my buddy list for some reason. I no doubt added her at some point but I couldn't remember when or why. Needless to say, I've removed her from my list since I don't want any more spam. I get enough of that on my regular e-mail address.

 

Date Posted: 7/26/2009 11:59 AM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2007
Posts: 17,055
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It wasn't spam per se, but a blast PM to everyone on their buddy list.  I tag my buddies so I know which ones are my game buddies, or those that are just book buddies.  I sent out a blast PM last night for an erotica game LOL!, but I seriously doubt I have you tagged as an erotica reader!!

Date Posted: 7/26/2009 12:06 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2008
Posts: 428
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It wasn't you.

Spam is defined as "Unsolicited Commercial Email". It was unsolicited since at no point was I asked if I wanted to be on this list. It was commercial since it was trying to get me to do something. A PM counts as an email. So, it fulfills all the requirements to be spam. If it walks like a duck...

Date Posted: 7/26/2009 12:08 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,443
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PM the person back and tell them you don't want to be included on any of their blast PMs.  If they persist in sending you blast PMs, report it to PBS.

Date Posted: 7/26/2009 12:10 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2008
Posts: 428
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I've already removed them from my buddy list which should take care of it. I just wanted to know if it was a new thing. If it is, I'll probably remove everyone from my buddy list. I don't use the silly thing anyway.

Date Posted: 7/26/2009 1:25 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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It happens - I rec'd a blast PM from one of my buddies yesterday because she was giving her buddies dibs on a WL book.  However, you have a choice of selecting who to send it to...for a WL book I would  include everyone, but inviting them to a game, I would only invite the ones I knew participated in the past.  If the person is new they may not know that she can select individual members for the blast or are excited about the topic and wants to give her buddies a heads up.  The second choice if you didn't want to lose the person as a buddy would be to PM them and just ask not to include you in such notices.  

Date Posted: 7/26/2009 1:31 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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They are not trying to sell you anything. They are just inviting their buddies to look at their game and see if they want to play or not.  It wasn't trying to get you to do something but just inviting you to check it out.  The person wasn't selling anything.  Even if you played the game you wouldn't be out anything you would just trade a book with someone. 

Sorry but I think you are overreacting a bit. It's not like you got a PM from someone asking you to buy Avon or something.  All you had to do was delete them from your buddy list like you did.

Date Posted: 7/26/2009 1:49 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2008
Posts: 428
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I disagree. I don't think I'm overreacting at all. If I had sent it to TPTB, that'd be overreacting. I just don't want spam. At all. Not on my regular e-mail address and certainly not on here.

In my opinion, she was trying to sell me something. She was trying to sell me on the swap she had set up. Just because there wasn't any money changing hands doesn't mean that it wasn't a commercial message. I shouldn't have to ask not to be spammed. Anyone who thinks doing something like that is ok should really look into net etiquette. Spamming is always wrong.

I'm assuming from the comments that this is getting to be normal, every day behavior. And, for some reason, it's allowed. If that's not correct, then someone let me know. Otherwise, I'm going to go ahead and delete my buddy list so I don't get any more spam.

Kate -
Date Posted: 7/26/2009 1:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2008
Posts: 534
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It was commercial since it was trying to get me to do something.

Personally, I interpret "commercial" here as trying to make money off of you somehow. Someone on your buddy list was inviting you to participate in a game. For fun. If you don't participate in swaps like that, I can understand your annoyance (I would be annoyed also), but it's not like she's trying to sell you a male enhancement device or get you to wire money to an African prince. I think spam is a bit harsh.

In my opinion, she was trying to sell me something. She was trying to sell me on the swap she had set up.

That is a real stretch, I think.

Otherwise, I'm going to go ahead and delete my buddy list so I don't get any more spam.

I think that's a perfectly fine idea. I don't keep a buddy list for that reason. I don't participate in the game/swap threads, or any other extra activities I might need a buddy list for, so I don't see a need to have one. The buddy list is a great tool for people who do participate in games, etc, so I think you might be better off without one rather than begrudging others for using theirs. ETA: That's not to say I don't think the person who messaged you shouldn't have been more selective in who she PMed, but an accidental or ill-advised PM might happen once in a while.



Last Edited on: 7/26/09 2:01 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 7/26/2009 2:09 PM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2009
Posts: 1,924
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I think you taking your buddy list down so you do not get invited to anything that you consider spam to a good move.

Personally I do not think you are correct in your deffinitions. By adding the person as a buddy, you have made a connection to a person to communicate. They used that connection that you set up, to INVITE you to join in some fun, on this site, that you are a willing part of. It is not such a crazy notion. It is like a friend in your everyday life mailing you a invite to a book party they are having. Your free to not go of course. But calling it spam and then taking the person off you buddy list without even talking with them about it and then posting here asking if it is something new... well it seems a bit much to me over an invitation.

Date Posted: 7/26/2009 2:12 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,185
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Swap hosts do this all the time to invite their buddies to their games, it seems like that is one of the main reasons Blast PMs were set up.

In my opinion, she was trying to sell me something. She was trying to sell me on the swap she had set up. Just because there wasn't any money changing hands doesn't mean that it wasn't a commercial message. I shouldn't have to ask not to be spammed. Anyone who thinks doing something like that is ok should really look into net etiquette. Spamming is always wrong.

An invitation is not an attempt to sell you anything.  When you get an invitation to a wedding they are trying to sell you what?   I think your idea of the Games is not what actually takes place there. 

Spamming is completely unsolicited and when you add people to your Buddy List, you are agreeing to getting Blast PMs from them, just like joining PBS is agreeing to get emails from them. If you don't want to agree to Blast PMs, then you should probably empty your Buddy List or at least send your own Blast PM asking them not to PM you (which would most likely have them remove you from their Buddy List and have the same result).

Date Posted: 7/26/2009 2:22 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2008
Posts: 428
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The people on my buddy list were on there before the Blast PMs existed. I've only added a few people since that particular feature was started. At no point did I think that adding someone as a buddy would give them the right to spam me on some future date. If I had, I wouldn't have added them.

The entire idea of letting members spam other members is horrible to me. It's a slippery slope that will lead to a lot of potential issues later. And yes, I still consider it spam. I get plenty of spam in the way of invitations. An invitation to get some magazine or to look at some website.

Since most wedding invitations are sent through the postal service, they can't really be considered spam since spam is inherently e-mail.

Date Posted: 7/26/2009 2:23 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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Tim - I think your original question is fair - is it happening more?  I haven't been here long but I have rec'd one in little over 2 months  - I don't know if that is often or not.  I am about to alert my buddies that I have 3 WL books and 2 are not on the system. They will get first choice...then I will offer it up FIFO.   I really appreciated when my buddy offered me the book and if I was at home - I would have responded with a positive.  It was incredibily kind of her.  I know that  many are die hard FIFO, but I prefer to know who I am swapping with first - it is my personal preference.  I also look at the bookshelves of members in my transaction log and may send them a PM if the book is on their wishlist.  I see that more as soliciting and I am relucant and will probalby will only do so if my buddies are not interested.

I look at buddies as friends so I don't see it as spam.  I don't spam friends, but if I see something to incredible to pass up - I call them on the phone or email them.  Maybe it depends on what your expectation is of a buddy?

I am with Kate - I don't see it as commerical because the games forum is part of PBS and she just giving a heads up that there is a game.  Maybe she is selective and just missed unchecking your name.  In my online email I will check "all" messages then uncheck the few that I want to keep -the rest I will delete.  Maybe it was as an innocent mistake - she selected all her buddies and there were only a few she didn't want to send to - but missed your name? 

Date Posted: 7/26/2009 2:25 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2008
Posts: 428
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Actually, for this particular message it started out saying:

I hope I'm not bothering you with this mass mail
I wanted to let you know about a new swap I just started.

So, it wasn't just a case of her not unchecking my name. The message was meant to be sent as a mass mailing. It was not a message between friends.

Date Posted: 7/26/2009 2:28 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,185
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 It was not a message between friends. - But it was because it was everyone on her Buddy List.

Date Posted: 7/26/2009 2:29 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2008
Posts: 428
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Not really, a friend would know not to send me spam.

Kate -
Date Posted: 7/26/2009 2:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2008
Posts: 534
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I get plenty of spam in the way of invitations. An invitation to get some magazine or to look at some website.

Sorry, but I'm gonna have to call you on this ;) An invitation to buy something is not a social invitation. These people are trying to make money by selling you something or earning money from # of website views. That is a different concept from an invitation to a social event (online or otherwise). Playing around with the wording doesn't change the meaning or intentions. Same with saying she's "selling something" because "selling you on her swap." Cute wordplay, but no. My husband "invited me to" and "sold me on" marrying him, too - those words don't automatically have a negative or commercial connotation. Although I guess I would have been less pleased if he had done it by bulk email... hmmm... ;)

Not that it's not annoying to get impersonal and bulk emails, I completely agree! But these are some really over-the-top associations you're making.

Date Posted: 7/26/2009 2:46 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2008
Posts: 428
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Plenty of other spam invitations. I just used the first two that came to mind. How about an invitation to join a letter writing campaign? Or an invitation to pray for certain individuals? Neither of those have anything to do with money. The first was for an environmental cause that I would have supported if they hadn't spammed me. The second was the church that I grew up with. I have no idea how they even got my e-mail address since I no longer lived within a hundred miles of them.

You're arguing semantics. You take the narrow view. I take the broad view.

Date Posted: 7/26/2009 2:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,185
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Your semantics are still wrong.  Spam may always be bulk e-mails, but bulk e-mails do not always equal spam. If you have agreed to be on the list, then it is just bulk e-mail not spam.

Date Posted: 7/26/2009 2:53 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2008
Posts: 428
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Nope, my semantics are completely correct. I never agreed to be on any bulk e-mail. As I said, the list was in place before the blast pms were available.

Date Posted: 7/26/2009 2:57 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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Tim - I guess my question would be how do you see the buddy list working?  It sounds like you have a different expectation on how the buddy list should work then most of the members that have replied to your post. 

The one I rec'd from my buddy was -" geez first time doing this - I hope I did it right and I hope you don't mind the PM but I wanted to give you first crack......Would you be upset if you were on my buddy list and I sent a blast PM alerting you that I had WL books that I was offering to my buddies first before putting on FIFO?  If so, if you were on my buddy list and it offended you that I sent the PM - I would hope you would give me the benefit of the doubt and let me know you didn't expect to receive that PM.  I would make note and not included you on the next one.  I just feel that it may have been innocent - you were a buddy - she looks as all her buddies as friends.

If I rec'd the game PM I would either have deleted it or if it was often I would have PM'd and ask her/him to exclude me from the blast.   If it continued after the notification - I would then remove them as a buddy - no loss at that point. 

I have a friend that used to email me those pass this along to 10 other people and your wish will come true....type bunk.  I just emailed her and asked her not to forward those on to me.  She said OK- didn't realize some people would be bothered by it - now she does and is more selective.

I would really understand if you rec'd a blast PM from a member that wasn't on your buddy list - like I said I am more relucant to PM members I have had past transactions with offering a WL book because I feel that is advertising --if you want to call it that.  However I am not relucant to send that info on to my buddies. 

 

Date Posted: 7/26/2009 3:09 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2008
Posts: 428
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I only used the buddy list when I had a new book that was wishlisted. If one of my buddies had it on their wishlisted, I'd offer it directly to them rather than posting it through FIFO. And, when I was really bored and wanted to help post book images, I'd check my buddy's list to see what books they had without images. That was the only 2 instances that I ever used the buddy list.

Keep in mind that at no point in any of this discussion have I even suggested anything to happen to the person who sent that message. My original post was only to ask if it was becoming popular to spam other members. I'm more than willing to let people do whatever they think is appropriate within the rules of the site. I'm just not going to change my opinions. I don't care how many people disagree with me.

Date Posted: 7/26/2009 3:47 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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Tim - I think you have a right to your opinion and I am sure it is shared by other members on this site.  I only asked to understand how you expected the buddy list to work.  From your response I now understand  your opinion on this subject - for me I view my buddy list differenlty so my opinion is different....that is all.

Just to be clear - I can only speak for myself, but I never interrupted that you thought something should happen to the person who sent the PM if you did you would have reported it to TPTB.   The thing is you posted the question is this the norm and no one was surprised nor felt it was SPAM, but I don't think anyone was trying to change your mind either.  I read the posts and everyone was voicing their opinion and how they would have handled or viewed the same situation. 

Date Posted: 7/26/2009 3:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
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I agree you are overreacting (and also over justifying) but that's your right.   PMing that person back and asking them to NOT send you blast PMs would have taken care of that problem quickly and easily. 

 

Date Posted: 7/26/2009 4:19 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2008
Posts: 428
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And I still disagree with that. Spam is a blight on the internet and needs to be eliminated. It's one of those situations where if you allow it in any form, it'll eventually overwhelm a system. No matter what type of system that is. It's an absolute nightmare for network administrators everywhere. And the biggest problem is that too many people think it's not a problem.

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