spam harvester posted for discussion October 7, 2001 6:39 PM   Subscribe

Aiiee! Make it stop! Yet another e-mail spam harvester posted for "discussion". These are generally tiresome and dangerously close to content-free sites that some schlub whipped up between smoke breaks -- the web equivalent of trolls. They're built with a content management system that automatically begs people to send it to friends, thereby collecting the e-mail addresses. And they don't belong on Metafilter. Or has Metafilter changed that much?
posted by dhartung to Etiquette/Policy at 6:39 PM (10 comments total)

dhartung? I thought these things wouldn't spam anybody as long as I didn't respond to them---I mean, *I* sure wouldn't send that to a friend. Is it somehow built to spam me just because I looked at it?
posted by realjanetkagan at 7:08 PM on October 7, 2001

for whatever reason, lots of otherwise well-meaning people think that shit is 'neat'. our office secretary is a wonderful young woman, but given the opportunity i would lobotomize that portion of her brain that has her continue to submit my address on anything she thinks is cute, even after having it all gently explained to her.
posted by quonsar at 7:40 PM on October 7, 2001

Wow! Two posts (1,2) to on the same day in a matter of hours, but never in the past.

posted by tamim at 7:41 PM on October 7, 2001

realjanetkagan: it won't spam you unless you respond, but it is an "e-mail spam harvester". That's its purpose.

quonsar: I think you have it backwards. I think someone may have already lobotomized the part of her brain that tells her the "Bill Gates will send you money for clicking here" message is a scam.

tamim: I think that happens sometimes quite innocently. In the past, I've been directed to a site by a MeFi post, then found something else of interest hiding on the same site, which I've then posted to MeFi.

I don't know if that's what happened here, but it's a possibility.
posted by jpoulos at 8:54 PM on October 7, 2001

Relevant...The Netcop thing was used by Sanford "Spamford" Wallace's company a long time ago. Whether he is involved with funone or if funone is a group of harvesters, or the site is harmless. I don't know.

Either way, they should be flogged.
posted by fooljay at 10:03 PM on October 7, 2001

eUniverse is the parent of They are publically traded on NASDAQ...

Their abbreviated privacy policy says this:
2. The recommend a page to a friend service may not be used for spamming.
eUniverse operates a service that makes it easy for our viewers to recommend their favorite pages to friends. eUniverse does not condone this system to be used for distributing unsolicited email. Any user determined to be abusing the recommend-it system will be banned from eUniverse.

In the longer version, it says that they do not sell/rent/give/lease any email addys in their possession.


Sounds legit to me. And yet, still I hate that Send to a Friend crap...
posted by fooljay at 10:09 PM on October 7, 2001

dhartung: Thanks for reassuring me.
I'm just spooked today because I clicked off a pop-up this afternoon & it launched Download Demon & downloaded an .exe to "My Downloads." According to McAfee, it wasn't a virus but it sure as hell was scumware of some sort & I knew enough (I hope) to get rid of it before it did me damage.
But I'm an innocent here & I'm having trouble keeping up with the new traps, so I was afraid there was a new wrinkle in the spam-harvesters I didn't know about.
I don't think folks who send you these things are mean or even idiots. I think they're just innocent & naive &, usually, good-hearted. I cannot tell you how many urban legends & e-mail petitions I've gotten from very dear friends and family members this week. Yes, I got the Taliban petition yesterday. ARGGGGGH! I have taken to ranting back. The good thing is that my sister & my very good friend are both still speaking to me after my rants.

fooljay: I'm very fond of SFGate because it'll let me e-mail my friend something even if my friend's e-mail is identical to mine . Somebody ought to put up a list of sites that'll let you do that. (And maybe a list of badguys that won't.)
posted by realjanetkagan at 11:56 PM on October 7, 2001

Okay, eUniverse/funone may not in fact be evil spammers like Spamford Wallace (a man I once tangled with one-on-one over his incessant abuse of a mailing list I ran; one of our members even went to his house to yell at him!). But they are one of the classic viral marketing companies.

Regardless of their stated policy and whether you can "pass this on" without actually giving up your addy, it's still lowest-common-denominator content. The God/WTC page doesn't say anything that Rabbi Kushner didn't come up with 20 years ago. The Netcop page not only is nothing more than the latest wrinkle on a joke as old as the net, it misuses a net term in a not-funny way. It's sort of like, They pay people to come up with this warmed-over crap?

Bottom line: Metafilter is not intended to be a dustpan for warmed-over crap. If it becomes such, I will quickly leave, as will many other regulars.

Please don't post warmed-over crap.
posted by dhartung at 2:34 AM on October 8, 2001

Okay, I surrender. I knew I was going to get it over the Netcop thing, but I never thought anyone else would post something from the same site on the same day.

Yes it has been around and as noted it was obnoxious. I thought it was funny, Ha funny, not even Ha Ha. I don't think about popups because I don't get them and I would never send one of those pages by e-mail. I assumed, apparently incorrectly, that most folks here had better sense.
posted by bjgeiger at 5:03 AM on October 8, 2001

I have another technical query: How does the Net Cop site differ from, say, that "what robot are you" site? Just because he *says* he won't spam you? Why should I believe that & give him my e-mail address?
posted by realjanetkagan at 11:31 AM on October 9, 2001

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