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is anyone else getting flooded with these update requests? it's apparently an address book service that apparently everyone i know of is apparently taking part in. apparently.

as much as i would love to send all of my personal information over the internet to a third party -- and oh, how i would LOVE that -- it's just NOT going to happen. hello? a company that does nothing but collect email addresses and private information? i'd much rather type my email address on every square inch of my website and let the spambots and webcrawlers have their dirty way with it. i'd never see my inbox again, but for a daily list of viagra and porn offers.

my information is just that -- MY information. and information, nowadays, is more important than ever. we don't have do-not-call lists and anti-spam software just for the hell of it. companies shell out huge amounts of money for phone and address lists. i can only assume that your own inboxes are hardly pristine. and if you really believe that's my regular daily email address on the contact page, you are sadly mistaken. [props to lance for introducing me to sneakemail].

so to everyone who is registering with bebo.com, you will be disappointed to know that i will NOT be clicking on the link and entering my contact information. please don't take it personally. maybe i'm just paranoid, but i take my privacy seriously.

and one more thing: WHY IS IT BEBO.COM?!

addendum: no less than thirty google searches for some form of "bebo.com" have brought unsuspecting people to unleashed. not surprisingly, many were also searching "spam" as well.

clearly, this is a topic of interest to the internet-world-at-large.

consider this an invitation to you random searchers [yes, you!] to comment on information gleaned from your searches. i'm seriously interested.
Posted on Friday, February 18, 2005 at 01:29PM by Registered Commentermdog | Comments19 Comments

Reader Comments (19)

thank you!! i keep getting this too & i feel a little guilty not entering in the 'fun' to keep up with my friends, but i get enough spam in my inbox as is.
(bebo.com indeed!)
Feb 20, 2005 at 01:52PM | Unregistered Commentermar
call me naïve, but that thought never occured to me. sorry, mdog.

the fact that it's called bebo.com is rather strange!
Feb 21, 2005 at 03:48PM | Unregistered Commenteramo
no need to be sorry. i just don't think people realize the power of information on the internet...
Feb 21, 2005 at 04:38PM | Registered Commentermdog
Totally agree with you mate. These guys are effectively spamming everybody, just using other people's email addresses. From what I can tell, they seem to be able to grab people's hotmail address books, and possibly gmail too, and send out to everybody on them using the subscriber's email address somehow, provided the subscriber ticks a box that everybody ticks and nobody reads. Now these guys have sent out possible millions of emails to hundreds of thousands of addresses and not charged a cent for any of it. And I've not seen a single ad on their site. Where's the money gonna come from...? Gotta be the email database.
Feb 22, 2005 at 09:35AM | Unregistered CommenterTovill
hi tovill. welcome to unleashed, and thank you for posting. when you think about it, the bebo.com folks are brilliant... evil, but brilliant.
Feb 22, 2005 at 09:39AM | Registered Commentermdog
geez, now i feel like a total idiot.
Feb 22, 2005 at 10:04AM | Unregistered Commenteramo
trust me, amo, i've gotten several of these... LOTS of people are signing up. chin up, friend!
Feb 22, 2005 at 10:09AM | Registered Commentermdog
i've received a ton, too. and if you don't mind, the next one i get, i intend to forward a link to your blog to the person who sends it. :D
Feb 22, 2005 at 10:33AM | Unregistered Commentermar
feel free. :D
Feb 22, 2005 at 11:03AM | Registered Commentermdog
so far i haven't gotten any more spam than i normally get, but we'll see . . . :P
Feb 22, 2005 at 02:31PM | Unregistered Commenteramo
yes, i've received about 15 invitations from friends in the past year. each time, i block the address, bounce the message, and send a nasty-esque email to the person who sent it to me.

it bugs me that i know so many stupid people.
Feb 23, 2005 at 12:05AM | Unregistered Commenterlance
Pointed here by google; dropped in for the scoop on bebo.com; stayed for the interesting bloggage. Anyway, to add my $0.02 re: bebo -- I've browsed through several forums on the topic, and after reading the experiences of several folks who accepted bebo.com "invites", I'm leaning more and more towards your "...evil but brilliant" conclusion, mdog. I think Tovill is right that their ultimate (perhaps only) product is the database of email addresses they are building. But I don't think it's going to result in immediate spamming. Rather I think they will build the database for several months, slowly building trust as people note the lack of spam, then they will sell the company (and, thus, the database) for millions. The new owner will not be obligated to follow the old owner's privacy policy (says so right here: <http://bebo.com/Privacy.jsp>; just scroll down to "Acquisition"), and so will be able to sell the database over and over and over----->avalanche of spam. Other evil facets of bebo.com: It is apparently very easy to log into their site, ostensibly to just provide your own contact info for the friend who "bebo'd" you, and inadvertently end up uploading your entire address book to bebo's site, causing bebo invites to be mailed to everyone of your contacts. Hotmail accounts seem to be particularly vulnerable to this. So, don't be too harsh on those "stupid people", Lance -- they may not have meant to invite you. Finally, and most evil of all, I think they are counting on the guilt factor mentioned by Mar to lure a lot of people to join against their better judgment.

I'll be interested to see what info others post here as the bebo.com story develops. It wouldn't surprise me to see bebo in the news in coming months.

Cheers, all, and my compliments on a very interesting blog, mdog.
Mar 3, 2005 at 10:31PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve
hello steve, and welcome to unleashed. evil but brilliant, yes... and the thing is, i don't even know how spam can possibly even work anymore [or how it did in the first place]. sheesh. i, too, am waiting for stories to start rolling out about bebo.com. but by then it will be too late... sigh.

thanks for stopping by, and taking the time to write.
Mar 3, 2005 at 10:54PM | Registered Commentermdog
I am another Spam and Bebo searcher! How funny, yea people are definately suss...i have been sending a link to a site questioning its legitamacy to all the people who asked me to join up. Lets hope there is a turn around against bebo!!
People against BEBO!
hah, kidding but its sort of necessary
Mar 14, 2005 at 10:40PM | Unregistered CommenterLisa
Wow! There is so much suspicion in the world!

I operate the website bebo.com and wanted to respond to some of the remarks.

Everyone invited to join bebo is invited because a friend of theirs specifically asked them to be invited. Yes we do provide tools to make the easier, but we don't trick you into doing anything. You shouldn't even have to read everything, just don't click randomly with your eyes closed….

We don't send SPAM or sell you information. We're just trying to create a service where friends can share info/thoughts/photos with other friends. Why is it called bebo? Because we want the site to be fun so we gave it a fun name.

Are we evil bastards? Well, not the last time I checked. It's just a website.

About the privacy policy, yes, as with all privacy policies there has to be ‘something’ that allows us to sell the business at some time in the future, does this mean the new owner can then sell your info to everyone many times over? Absolutely NOT.

It is a common misperception that when a company gets bought, the Privacy Policy in place becomes meaningless. This is simply not the case.

It's first useful to understand that Privacy Policies are enforceable, specifically by the FTC. People may be familiar with Section 5 of the FTC Act, which declares "unfair or deceptive acts" are declared unlawful.

The FTC has demonstrated in the past that an organization's failure to live up to published privacy practices are considered "unfair or deceptive" and the FTC has taken corrective action to protect consumers in these cases.

But of course Privacy Policies can be changed. But the FTC Act also covers material changes to privacy policies.

The FTC operates under the concept that "a privacy policy walks with the information". In an example case between the FTC and Gateway Learning, Howard Beales, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, summed it up by stating, "You can change the rules but not after the game has been played." I direct you to the FTC site for more information: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2004/07/gateway.htm

Do we make money? Yes, we do have advertisements on the site.

I hope this helps a little, if you have questions just contact us using the 'Contact Us' page on our site, we're so nice we even reply to you!
Mar 21, 2005 at 08:39PM | Unregistered CommenterMichael Birch
Thanx Steve and MDog for the low down on spam town. I think you hit the nail on the head. Regardless if Bibo really can sell the data base is true or not, people still do not trust any fly by night just arriving on the op scene.

I've studied my share of biz ops much like these from just about every category. I'd have to say that it is a brilliant biz model but it has its vulvernabilities especially in these paranoid times of today.

Don't worry average consumers, they stand a highly likely chance of falling flat on their face. I say this cuz they missed out on one of the very important rules of gaining customer loyalty. Value is the peace offering whether extrinsic or intrinsic, that allowed the Native Americans to hand over the most prized possession in the history of man..

Bibo! You got to give some valued freebies to the customers inorder to get the momentum going here. Instead, you have just created a buzz of full blown out suspicion! You tripped up right out of the starting gate fools! YOUR FIRED!

You might see me right up your tails very soon...
Mar 25, 2005 at 08:15PM | Unregistered CommenterBozo
i run the spam stopping box for our company. we block a ton of this junk every day. here's what i don't understand. if this service is legit, why do they change little bits and pieces of the wording of all the invites to update their contact information? words change here or there. greetings change a little bit. it's not because each user is unique, because there's way too much that is the same for the odds to work out that each person actually wrote the messages. so unless bebo is trying to make sure they're not stopped as spam, then why would they make so many different variations on the same email. all respectable companies have the same format for their invitation emails (like ING DIRECT) because they knwo that their mx records have positive scores and are reputable. if bebo was such a nice company, why not publish your info and get yourselves off RBL lists?
Apr 7, 2005 at 01:23AM | Unregistered Commenteremail manager

umm guys, have you ever been on bebo? I HAVE BEEN INVITED 5 TIMES! when i gave in and joined, they had ads, they had sidebar ads. They do NOT send spam and offers to your contacts, and will not hack you- you are pathetic n00bs~no offence but it won't kill you to get a few offers if you WANT them and they're probably only from your email provider because you clicked the special offers box... stop dissing things you know nothing about!........idiots

Nov 26, 2007 at 09:10PM | Unregistered Commenteralley

umm, welcome back to 2005 everyone!

Nov 26, 2007 at 09:33PM | Registered Commentermdog

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