Warning about private messages...

33 replies
Hello all,

I received this PM

2013-09-05_1438 - daftdog1888's library

I thought that it was some change to the WF that had to be done but it is not at all. I naively clicked it, didnt like, what i thought was the new layout of WF and changed it back. The next day i got a 2 week ban from the WF. So i thought that i should tell everyone to be careful...

Hope this helps someone from making the same mistake that i did....

Cheers

Marc aka DD

PS. To any Mods...was i banned from changing it or for changing it back as i dont want to receive any more bans??
#messages #private #warning
  • Profile picture of the author Vid Yo
    Wth!

    Thanks for the heads up Marc.
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    • Profile picture of the author daftdog
      Originally Posted by ncp63837 View Post

      Wth!

      Thanks for the heads up Marc.
      no problem...i was shocked when i saw that i was banned as i always try to keep within the TOS of the WF. the WF is a big part of my life and i probably spend more time on here than even FB...
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  • Profile picture of the author cash365
    Thank you, Marc!

    Did you contact the person who sent you this (and what was the answer?)?
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    • Profile picture of the author daftdog
      Originally Posted by cash365 View Post

      Thank you, Marc!

      Did you contact the person who sent you this (and what was the answer?)?
      My ban was only lifted today and after being banned i wont be replying to that PM...
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  • Profile picture of the author DeborahDera
    I don't understand what the two have to do with each other, if other than a timing issue? Are you sure you were banned because you tried to use an app? Perhaps there was something else that happened.

    Originally Posted by daftdog View Post

    Hello all,

    I received this PM

    2013-09-05_1438 - daftdog1888's library

    I thought that it was some change to the WF that had to be done but it is not at all. I naively clicked it, didnt like, what i thought was the new layout of WF and changed it back. The next day i got a 2 week ban from the WF. So i thought that i should tell everyone to be careful...

    Hope this helps someone from making the same mistake that i did....

    Cheers

    Marc aka DD

    PS. To any Mods...was i banned from changing it or for changing it back as i dont want to receive any more bans??
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
    Marc,

    You were banned for sending PM spam. I will issue a similar (or longer) ban to any and every person who is reported for PMs generated by that app.

    This is a perfect example of why the mods don't give blanket approval to things before seeing the finished product. The programmer asked me if it would be okay to create an app with specific features. We have no say about what someone includes in their products, but he wanted to know for purposes of offering it in the War Room.

    I warned him against anything that automated functions, specifically mentioning PMs.


    Paul

    PS: The ban was for one week. Not two.
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    • Profile picture of the author daftdog
      Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

      Marc,

      You were banned for sending PM spam. I will issue a similar (or longer) ban to any and every person who is reported for PMs generated by that app.

      This is a perfect example of why the mods don't give blanket approval to things before seeing the finished product. The programmer asked me if it would be okay to create an app with specific features. We have no say about what someone includes in their products, but he wanted to know for purposes of offering it in the War Room.

      I warned him against anything that automated functions, specifically mentioning PMs.


      Paul

      PS: The ban was for one week. Not two.
      Paul,

      Thanks for clearing that up. What i dont understand is that i didnt reply to this PM (as far as i can remember...almost 100% sure)...in which case how could i be banned for sending spam? All i did was click on the app which i thought had come from a mod or was something that i had to do.

      I in no way promoted this or had anything to do with sending this to other people. This just randomly appeared in my inbox and i didnt know that people could send spam PM's so of course thought there was nothing to worry about by clicking on it.

      Anyway i thought it right to let others know so the same mistake is not made by others.

      Regards

      Marc

      PS. If it was only 1 week then i correct myself....seemed like a lot longer...probably just upsetting my daily routine of sites i check before starting my day.
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  • Again another example of great moderators here at WF that help guide us through our mistakes instead of banning us without cause or explanation. I'll say it again, Google can learn a lot from WF moderators. LOL
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  • Profile picture of the author niftystats
    Thank you, Marc!
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  • Profile picture of the author thedanbrown
    Makes sense, cant be spamming people with software on here the mods will figure that out asap. Thanks for the warning
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  • Profile picture of the author danlew
    Damn! These people who likes to ruin the lives of the Warriors here have no conscience. They are innovating something really bad for us, better get our heads up and be smart!
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  • Profile picture of the author rosetrees
    I'm wondering where the link in that PM really goes to. If you didn't reply and didn't knowingly send out any PMs, I'm wondering if the link automatically accesses your friend's list and PMs them without you knowing.

    Do you think this could have happened? If so, you should contact Paul Myers so can investigate it. Can you right click on the link, copy it and paste it into a wordprocessing document. Then you'll see where the link really goes to.
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Marc,

      The app you installed sent it for you, probably without your knowledge.

      Part of the reason for the ban was to "encourage" you to spread the word about the risks of that kind of app, both for end users and programmers.

      Pedro (espe) will remove that function from his app or he will never be able to operate in this forum under any account identifying him personally again. It's up to him to choose which he prefers. Whackamole is certainly an option, but he'll find it much harder to get anything legit done here if he has to hide his identity in the process.


      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author daftdog
        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

        Marc,

        The app you installed sent it for you, probably without your knowledge.

        Part of the reason for the ban was to "encourage" you to spread the word about the risks of that kind of app, both for end users and programmers.

        Pedro (espe) will remove that function from his app or he will never be able to operate in this forum under any account identifying him personally again. It's up to him to choose which he prefers. Whackamole is certainly an option, but he'll find it much harder to get anything legit done here if he has to hide his identity in the process.


        Paul
        Nice one Paul...good to know that you guys are on top of the situation, the WF is one place i want to come and not get spammed, unlike my multiple emails....

        When it was installed i changed it straight back as i hated how the WF looked....just wasent the same. I think also part of the reason i clicked is recently i got a nokia lumia with windows 8 and thought it had something that i could have to connect from phone to laptop! Windows 8 is horrible but that is another topic
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  • Profile picture of the author Fazal Mayar
    thanks for the heads up, received a pm earlier, glad for me it wasnt this
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  • Profile picture of the author espe
    Hi guys,

    I am the creator of the app and yes I'm truly sorry for the inconvenience you went through daftdog it was not my intention to get you banned. sorry.
    I talked to Paul before the first release of the app and he mentioned that I should not add automated stuff into it (mainly PMs).

    My mistake was to think that adding a feature to share the link to the extension with the user's buddylist was ok, but apparently it's not. I thought it was ok because its a free app, nothing is really being sell and the pms were only supposed to be sent to up to 10 contacts (wf rules).

    @Paul

    I will remove that feature asap, I can't right now because I'm making changes to the app but by the end of the day it will be removed forever.
    I think it's cool to just include at the end of replies "posted from..." like another app for andriod I saw, is it?

    You said: "it sounds like a cool app" but yet, now you are making me look like the bad guy in this thread when you know the app is supposed to improve the users experience while using the forum :confused:

    Like I said, the feature will be removed and thank you for letting me know about this thread.

    @danlew

    Damn! These people who likes to ruin the lives of the Warriors here have no conscience.
    ruin lives? you are being a little dramatic over this.



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    • Profile picture of the author daftdog
      Originally Posted by espe View Post

      Hi guys,

      I am the creator of the app and yes I'm truly sorry for the inconvenience you went through daftdog it was not my intention to get you banned. sorry.
      I talked to Paul before the first release of the app and he mentioned that I should not add automated stuff into it (mainly PMs).

      My mistake was to think that adding a feature to share the link to the extension with the user's buddylist was ok, but apparently it's not. I thought it was ok because its a free app, nothing is really being sell and the pms were only supposed to be sent to up to 10 contacts (wf rules).

      @Paul

      I will remove that feature asap, I can't right now because I'm making changes to the app but by the end of the day it will be removed forever.
      I think it's cool to just include at the end of replies "posted from..." like another app for andriod I saw, is it?

      You said: "it sounds like a cool app" but yet, now you are making me look like the bad guy in this thread when you know the app is supposed to improve the users experience while using the forum :confused:

      Like I said, the feature will be removed and thank you for letting me know about this thread.

      @danlew



      ruin lives? you are being a little dramatic over this.



      Posted from Warrior Forum App for Chrome
      Apology accepted though i was very pissed off at the time and for sure you need to get rid of the part that sends out emails on the persons behalf. Im glad i didnt have a product launch going on at the time or it could have been very costly. This is more than a forum but a useful tool if you have questions or need to check up on an idea.
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        Pedro,
        I think it's cool to just include at the end of replies "posted from..." like another app for andriod I saw, is it?
        That's between you and the users of the app.
        You said: "it sounds like a cool app" but yet, now you are making me look like the bad guy in this thread when you know the app is supposed to improve the users experience while using the forum
        Actually, I said, "If it does just what you've described so far, though, it sounds like a very cool extension." There is a significant caveat in there, which you left out of your "quote."

        It's clear that Marc wasn't aware the app was sending PMs on his behalf. To automate such a thing, invading a "buddy list" without requiring affirmative action on the user's part, is potentially harmful to the end user's relationships with those people.

        Marc,
        Im glad i didnt have a product launch going on at the time or it could have been very costly.
        I checked to make sure you didn't have any active sales threads going at the time.


        Paul
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        • Profile picture of the author CyberAlien
          Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

          It's clear that Marc wasn't aware the app was sending PMs on his behalf. To automate such a thing, invading a "buddy list" without requiring affirmative action on the user's part, is potentially harmful to the end user's relationships with those people.
          Actually, even if it did ask for affirmative action, I think it would still be a violation of the forum rules where this is listed under prohibited activities:

          engaging in any automated use of the system, such as using scripts to add friends or send comments or messages, or using any data mining, robots or similar data gathering and extraction tools;
          So, regardless of who he thinks agreed with his app or thought it was cool - it's still automating the process of sending messages and breaking the rules IMHO.
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          • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
            Chase,
            Actually, even if it did ask for affirmative action, I think it would still be a violation of the forum rules where this is listed under prohibited activities:
            If the member was presented with a screen each time asking "Would you like to recommend this to X, Y, and Z via private message?," and actively agreed to send the PMs recommending the app, I would treat that as a human action.

            You could still get dinged if you sent too many of them, but that's just as true of hand-typed stuff.


            Paul
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            • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
              Banned
              Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

              Chase,If the member was presented with a screen each time asking "Would you like to recommend this to X, Y, and Z via private message?," and actively agreed to send the PMs recommending the app, I would treat that as a human action.

              You could still get dinged if you sent too many of them, but that's just as true of hand-typed stuff.


              Paul
              If I received unsolicited promotional pms for an app, I would report them as spam. I was under the impression that unsolicited pm'ing wasn't allowed.
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              • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                Suzanne,
                If I received unsolicited promotional pms for an app, I would report them as spam. I was under the impression that unsolicited pm'ing wasn't allowed.
                If these had to be manually approved on a case by case basis, I would only treat them as spam if they were sent in volume.

                This is an edge case. Sort of like affiliate links in signatures were in the early days. We had no problem with them until they became an excuse for pointless bulk posting.

                For an overview of how we view unsolicited PMs, see this post and this one.


                Paul
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                • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                  Banned
                  Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                  Suzanne,If these had to be manually approved on a case by case basis, I would only treat them as spam if they were sent in volume.

                  This is an edge case. Sort of like affiliate links in signatures were in the early days. We had no problem with them until they became an excuse for pointless bulk posting.

                  For an overview of how we view unsolicited PMs, see this post and this one.


                  Paul
                  Thanks for clarification. Pretty much as I suspected ... I rarely ever report a pm and I get jv offers frequently enough. They never bother me. It is more about targeting and if the pm is just a blatant advertisement for a product and it appears to have been sent out to a lot of people. Those I would report.
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                  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
                    Originally Posted by johnmags View Post

                    To the moderator, is it possible to have a sticky thread about the common spamming techniques here in the forum? Cases like Marc will be minimized if members are aware of the different strategies used by these spammers to spam the forum and the private messaging at the expense of their victims.
                    That idea is a double edged sword.

                    On one hand, people that read the sticky may benefit from knowing what is more likely to be spam.

                    On the other hand, you create almost a tutorial for would-be spammers and the often desperate people looking for loopholes. Imgine this exchange:

                    Mod: 1 week ban for spamming.

                    Spammer: But I didn't do anything listed in the sticky...

                    Now imagine that repeated many times per day, along with dealing with the various spam reports.
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  • Profile picture of the author Vid Yo
    This all sounds like an honest mistake(s)
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      This all sounds like an honest mistake(s)
      On Marc's part, certainly. I suspect he'll be more cautious about the source and permissions of apps he installs in the future, though. That could end up helping him avoid more serious consequences from less benign intrusions.

      On Pedro's part, that depends on how you define it. Did he properly disclose to his users that the app would send PMs in their names? If not, we don't know if it was an innocent omission due to inexperience or the deliberate choice to use stealth promotional tactics at the users' expense. Or simply poor judgement.

      I don't think malice is very likely here. That doesn't change the result, but it does affect our choice of response.


      Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author Tina Mayer
    Thanks for the warning!
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  • Profile picture of the author johnmags
    Thanks for the warning Marc, although I did not bother clicking on that link. It helps to know the risk and danger of clicking doubtful links.

    To the moderator, is it possible to have a sticky thread about the common spamming techniques here in the forum? Cases like Marc will be minimized if members are aware of the different strategies used by these spammers to spam the forum and the private messaging at the expense of their victims.
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    • Profile picture of the author jboykin
      Originally Posted by johnmags View Post

      To the moderator, is it possible to have a sticky thread about the common spamming techniques here in the forum? Cases like Marc will be minimized if members are aware of the different strategies used by these spammers to spam the forum and the private messaging at the expense of their victims.
      Sounds like a pretty good WSO lol!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Mathematic ROIs
    Wow, thanks for the heads up. It explains alot.
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  • Profile picture of the author espe
    Quick update:

    I removed that feature and won't happen again to anyone using the app.


    Posted from Warrior Forum App for Chrome
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Thank you, Pedro.
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