Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Social media spam

To all my friends who get emails from me asking them to join Linkedin or some other network.

first: my appologies.
The invitation is NOT from me directly.
It's sent by the Linkedin (or whatever other) website.

Second: I don't want you to join, the Linkedin website does.

Third: Why is it sent ?
Linkedin (or whatever website) grabs a person's email address book and then automatically sends email to their friends that looks like it's coming from that person.
Why ?
to get more people ?
Why ?
to make more money. (i.e. the 'holy grail' of the current level of human civilization)

Legal: is it ? I guess so. They don't do this without user permission, but they make it so that you can very easily spam all your friends without clearly meaning to. This is what just happened to you. 

Fourth: I also get emails like this from other friends.
It's usually pretty simple to work out that the email comes from some social network site that sent it autotmatically.
I usually classify it as SPAM and I never see any of those emails again from that person.
I suggest you do that with any annoying Linkedin emails that say they come from me.

If I really want to talk to you I'll email directly with a personal email, and you will easily be able to tell that it's NOT an automated email, because it won't look nice, glossy, pretty and I wont' be asking you join some dumb network that you don't want to join.

Positives: I've made contact with a whole lot of people who write to me to tell me they don't want to join Linkedin, and we have a chat that we would otherwise not have had.

Anthropologist's field notes

 Note1: those people fiercely opposed to and hating all social networks get very annoyed and respond to Linkedin spam as a personal insult. 
They take it personally, and unleash a furious barrage.
A common response is: "No I don't want to join this stupid F****ing network, and I hate all social networks because of blahhha blahhh....blahh.... reason....  and how DARE YOU SPAM with with SHIT !!!!!!!!! " 

Note2: those people who use social networks realize what is going on and quietly get rid of the Linkedin spam. 
A common response is: 
"No big big deal, there is positive and negative to everything in life, I can live with killing the odd email here and there. ... " 

Confession1: I used to be in "Note1" and hated all social network crap. I LOVED hating those things, I thought them stupid and really got into the grumpy old man thing about them. But then I decided to get to grips with the thing I 'hated' and found that I could quite easily control it and use it for my own purposes.
Lesson for self: This applies to life in general, not just this example. 

Hating something is a blind spot and it's kinda fun, in a twisted sort of way.

Confession2: I especially used to enjoy hating Facebook. The more people talked about it the more I determined to have nothing to do with it.  (Note the "enjoy") 
So why the hell did I get into it ? 
Weeeeeeelllllllll.............. you see, t here was this girl I liked.... and she  used it and so I joined too..... amidst much grumbling. 
"I'm only using Facebook to respond to your invitation, I don't like and use Facebook.... I hate it, it sucks...  " I  told   her... 
Weeeeellllllll ...and by now I've learned how to control it and use it and I know what it can and cannot do and I've dropped my fanatical "anti" stance.
Actually it's come in useful to reaching out to people. 
Yes it has bad sides and it has good sides. So do knives. 


  • Anonymous says: 
    I receive several invitations from linkedin every day ! I dont think there is a Spam from Linkedin, but they could design the procedures in a way that sending all invitations should be double confirmed by the linkedin member. For example, in FB, when you want to invite your friends to FB they will ask you to confirm it at least two times and you are able to choose from a list of friends to send them the FB invitation. I think the way Linkeding works is that every time a new member registers with Linkedin they will ask him to add your friends and maybe this process consists just a one time clicking on a button. The LKinkedin will send all of his friends an invitation email and will re send it almost every week as a reminder from Linkedin. So, it is not actually a spam, but a technique they use for making their website popular. I am not sure this way is a good way because every time you receive such email it makes you angry about Linkedin.
  • Haiko Rudolph I was going to say that

    Linkedin makes is deliberately easy to send this stuff, ie. and easy mistake to make, designed this way on purpose.

    the effect is however different now: social media will kick back and Linkedin's image will suffer and become associated with cheap crappy nagging software.

    I used to have some respect for Linkedin, I thought they were more "seriious" and biz like, but this method of spamming my friends, is cheap and nasty stuff.
    Sorry not impressed, they are just another nagging money hungry site.

    Facebook makde the process double confirmed for a good reason, they too used to spam and flood your inbox, and that turned people off much more than it got them customers.

    linkedin has not yet learned that.

    they will

     other kinds of spam that pretend to come from your friends are more tricky, Linkedin is harmless in comparison: 
    example is below: 

    Bill  Smith
    18:30 (0 minutes ago)

    to undisclosed recipients
    Hope you get this on time, I made a trip to Madrid in Spain and had my bag stolen from me with my passport and personal effects therein. The embassy has just issued me a temporary passport but I have to pay for a ticket and settle hotel bills. I've made contact with my bank but it would take me 3-5 working days to access funds in my account from Madrid.

    Western Union transfer is the best option to send money to me. Let me know if you need my details(Full names/location) to make the transfer. I'll refund the money back to you as soon as I return.

    Let me know if you can be of any help.