Is Google doing evil?

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Is Google doing evil?

Postby crfriend » Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:13 am

I'm not going to comment on the metaquestion of that, but I will state that based on my observations of what's been going on recently that Google is certainly contributing to evil by not properly vetting its G-mail subscribers. It's gotten so bad, in fact, that I've put a 24-hour ban on "entities" trying to register SkirtCafe accounts using G-mail addresses. To wit, in the past 24 hours, I've had to disable well over two dozen accounts with blatant "throwaway" G-mail addresses. I had to put the ban in so I could relax whilst on holiday.

Google: If you want to make good on your "Do no evil" pledge, please properly vet your G-mail subscriptions so they cannot be used by fraudsters and spammers. If you do not, then you may rest assured you that you will get accused of doing evil by virtue of link-spamming in various on-line fora in which said G-mail accounts are used to register on.

In the unlikely event that this impacts the very legitimate users of SkirtCafe who use G-mail as their mail-provider, please do not hesitate to contact the Barista!
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Re: Is Google doing evil?

Postby Kirbstone » Sun Sep 02, 2012 3:30 am

We all have to thank you Carl for doing a great job. There have recently been a couple of queer ones slip through at Sk4Men, and Uncle Al has taken his shotgun down from behind the beam there.

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Re: Is Google doing evil?

Postby skirted_in_SF » Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:07 am

I got my Gmail account back in the days when you had to be invited by an existing member. Maybe Google should re-institute the process. 8)
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Re: Is Google doing evil?

Postby pleated » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:20 am

I always look at the number of members. It fluctuates up and down. Looking at the name of the latest members many of these entities are fairly obvious with usernames consisting of a group of random letters, frequently all consonants. It must be irritating having to deal with that. I think any posts from new members are automatically put on moderation.
Thanks to the mods for their work in keeping the site clean.
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Re: Is Google doing evil?

Postby crfriend » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:57 am

skirted_in_SF wrote:I got my Gmail account back in the days when you had to be invited by an existing member. Maybe Google should re-institute the process. 8)

I quite strongly agree that they should. When I get home from holiday I'll post a random sampling of fraudulent accounts and their bogus (but operational G-mail addresses).

To Pleated's comment, the number fluctuates up and down by small numbers as robots register for accounts and I deactivate then. Once in a great while I'll do a big cull of dead accounts, but I announce that well in advance of actually doing it and there are strict conditions on what qualifies as a "dead account".

Newly registered users do have to have their first few posts approved by the moderation staff; this keeps the noise level close to zero for the community, but increases the workload on the moderators, It's a balancing act, and we try to err on the side of sanity within the community.
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Re: Is Google doing evil?

Postby STEVIE » Sun Sep 02, 2012 1:17 pm

Much appreciated what you guys do behind the scenes.
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Re: Is Google doing evil?

Postby Big and Bashful » Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:28 pm

STEVIE wrote:Much appreciated what you guys do behind the scenes.
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Re: Is Google doing evil?

Postby Tor » Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:24 am

I think I have some notion of what it takes to deal with the spam, having a trifle of experience managing user commentable sites, and thank you for doing a good job of it. And then there are those rare spam messages that take a little looking to verify. Beastly things.

I rather like your spambot/human question. I imagine that helps cut down on the bogus messages to sort through as well.

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human@world# ask_question --recursive "By what legitimate authority?"
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Re: Is Google doing evil?

Postby crfriend » Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:49 am

Tor wrote:I rather like your spambot/human question.

That was almost 100% accurate for a while, but the 'bots have since gotten better and can work around it. It's an arms-race really with one side always trying to stay one step ahead of the opposition. Eventually the "advertisers" will kill the medium, much as they've done with radio, television, and, more recently, e-mail, but until then it'll be down to the work of moderators and admins the world over to keep the noise level down.

I still have a feeling that Google is somehow benefiting from all those bogus (and throwaway) e-mail addresses, and the litter they leave on the Web. I just can't figure out what it is yet.
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Re: Is Google doing evil?

Postby Grok » Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:37 pm

A good analogy would be the immune system of the human body, and the continuing struggle against new pathogens.
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Re: Is Google doing evil?

Postby crfriend » Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:04 pm

Google, and g-mail in particular, have continued to distinguish themselves in a negative manner in recent days, and I've had enough. G-mail registrations are hereby suspended until the 24th of the month with an escape for real human registrants to contact me via e-mail.

Google -- and I know you watch this site -- please enforce some level of sanity in your acceptance of e-mail accounts. Continued acceptance of "throwaway" e-mail accounts used by forum-spammers and their robots only does harm to your reputation. Unless, of course, you profit or otherwise benefit from them in which case the ban will be permanent. "Don't be evil."
Last edited by crfriend on Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Corrected Google's (deprecated) motto
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