UK Web Focus

Innovation and best practices for the Web

“Wanna chat with me on cam?”

Posted by Brian Kelly on 3 June 2009

Spammer on the Ning social networkLast year we set up a Ning social network to support the IWMW 2008 event. Afterwards I forgot about the network until a few days ago I was alerted that a number of members had received spam messages. And on checking I discovered that Lucile Sawyer was sending messages asking others “Wanna chat with me on cam?, come see me here You’ll enjoy it. I promise!!!!” And on checking the membership details I discovered that Genvieve has a twin sister called Lucile Sawyer, as you can see.

I have now banned Lucile and Genvieve and changed the registration options for the site, so that any new members have to be approved. The lesson I’ve learnt – there’s a need to change the settings for social networks set up to support events after the event is over. I still prefer to make it easy to subscribe to such services, however, in order to avoid any delays caused by the need to accept new subscriptions manually.

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6 Responses to ““Wanna chat with me on cam?””

  1. Billy said

    A valuable lesson learnt! Are you setting up the same thing for this year?

  2. AJ Cann said

    Another dead Ning then rather than as site you feel the need to visit frequently. These things are a dead end, for goodness sake lets get colleagues using mainstream services rather than these echoes of the 1980s.

  3. @ajcann The purpose of the Ning Web site was to provide a forum to support a particular event. It was only ever envisaged that it would be used prior to, during and shortly after the event. It fulfilled that purpose. The aim of my post was to share with others the need to manage the closure of such a forum. I don’t know what you mean by “echoes of the 1980s”.

    • AJ Cann said

      For that type of use, maybe fair enough. But why Ning rather than another service?

      1980s: Inward-looking, closed, controlling – like Web2.0 never happened.

  4. [...] “Wanna chat with me on cam?” [...]

  5. [...] was fine before and during the event. However, as I described in a post entitled “Wanna chat with me on cam?“, almost a year after the event was over there were a number of spam posts sent to all [...]

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