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Quechup? No, Thanks

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Last week, I got an invitation to join Quechup, a new social networking site, from someone I'm pretty sure doesn't want to network with me. Unfortunately, this person uses Gmail, which adds all new email addresses to the contacts list, whether you want it to or not. Since this person had emailed me in the past, my email address was still in their contacts list.

The problem with Quechup is that during the account creation process for new users, they are asked to give permission for Quechup to view their email address books in order to see if any of their contacts are already on Quechup. What most people seem to miss is the fine print that indicates Quechup will be spamming everyone in the new user's contact list who is not already on Quechup.

I have two theories about why they chose to market their site this way. The first is benign, and assumes that someone at Quechup thought that users would read the text that indicates Quechup would be sending non-members email invitations.

quechup

The second theory is that someone at Quechup expected that few would read the text closely, and that it would be a simple and effective way of collecting a large number of active email addresses.

I suspect that the truth may be somewhere in between those two theories. Social networking sites do not exist out of the goodness of some programmer's heart. They exist to gather information about you and your friends, and to use that information to make money off of you. Quechup is no different in that than sites like MySpace and Facebook. However, unlike other sites, Quechup is quickly getting a bad reputation for mass emailing, and that will be a tricky spot to pull themselves out of.

Be careful out there. Even if you don't read the Privacy Policy or Conditions of Use before signing up on a new site, do at least read the text presented on the signup page. And please, stop sending me Quechup invitations.

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About Anna Creech

  • http://shanghaicafe.blogspot.com Mat Brewster

    I just got an invite to this too. I kept it in the inbox to look at it more closely later. Thanks for letting me know I can delete it now.

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    I believe we all got it from the same person. I thought, she has got to be kidding, and deleted it.

    – Temple

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    And if I remember correctly, which I do, the woman was rather infamous for over-the-top cringeworthy self-marketing efforts.

    – Temple

  • http://dracutweblog.blogspot.com Mary K. Williams

    When I got the (legit) invite – I thought nothing of it, signed up and went on my way. But perhaps now I’ve unwittingly had invites sent out from me.

    So, if anyone got them from me – sorry!

  • http://blogcritics.org/ Phillip Winn

    I’ve received four of these in the last couple of days, and deleted them all. I’m on Facebook and LinkedIn, and have no room for any more.

  • http://www.ihateeverything.com/ Lennit

    Oh, boy, I got the invite, too. Couple days later got some suspicious message with a pic of a comely lass, and, sure enough, when I clicked over to Quechup, there was a message that said, “Oh, we’re sorry, this account has been deleted.” Finally got myself out of MySpace hell for more of the same at another site? Cripes, I hope not.

  • http://www.breakingwindows.com Ken Edwards

    Yea, I got the invite, and immediately following got an apology from my friend explaining the situation. I am quite glad I did not jump on this bandwagon soon, considering the number of addresses in my GMail account.

  • http://unifiedtheorynothingmuch.blogspot.com Diane Kristine

    You know, I think of myself as fairly literate, and I’m not sure I’d have realized that they were going to invite my contacts without another step where I indicate which ones to invite. They say “We’ll search for matches so you can add them … and invite.” With Facebook, you have the option of selecting who to send the invitation to. I suspect Quechup is relying on people not realizing that’s not what they mean.

    Anyway, I’d never heard of this site, so thanks for the heads up … I bet it’s just a matter of time.

  • ChewMouse

    Want to hear “dumb”?

    I went and ACCEPTED the invitation from someone I don’t even know! I figured it was someone I worked with or something; I instantly cancelled the account, about eight hours ago….and I am still being spammed.

    I went and made sure that I cannot log in using my initial “almost part of Quechup” thing and my account is closed but they are STILL bugging me.

    I so hate spam. I hate it so much, it has crashed my computer time and again.

    But not knowing the guy who invited me, that’s major stupidity.

    sigh.

    To be a brunette.

    Maybe someday.

  • Diana Fern

    Oh my gosh. Thank you for writing this. I needed something like this today, actually. Which isn’t even one week since you wrote this. But whatever, I thank you for writing this. Someone who wasn’t my friend actually consented to sending that site to me, so you can imagine my surprise. I was suspicious and instantly googled it. Your article came up right after their site, so really, I’m glad I did what I did. Again, thank you very much. :)

  • Naomi

    I got burned by this one; thankfully, I didn’t use my work address, so you didn’t get one from me. I could swear that I actually opted NOT to send invites, and yet….

    Oh, I am so mortified.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com Elvira Black

    Got one too, but from what I gather it’s not a given that the person who invited you/us was aware of it.

  • Vole

    “Choose the address book with the most contacts and we’ll search for matches so that you can […] invite non Quechup members to join you.”

    This does not give permission to automatically send email from your address.

  • Vittoria

    You said:

    “And please, stop sending me Quechup invitations. ”

    Unfortunately, this implies that people are deliberately sending you Quechup invites. That’s probably not the case, and they feel badly enough that they’ve bothered you. I know; I accepted a Quechup invite last week, and when I discovered that everybody in my address book got hit, I felt terrible for them, even though I didn’t personally invite them.

    What “Quechup” fails to realize is that the typical address book contains the contact info of very, very few people we’d ever invite to a social networking website. I have many business contacts and casual acquaintences in mine–many of whom are married, no less–and would never, in a million years, have invited them.

    Quechup must be SHUT DOWN.

  • http://bcgoodiebag.com/ Anna Creech

    Vittoria: Actually, it was just tongue-in-cheek humor.

  • http://www.logodiver.com/ Yury, logo designer

    I had a bunch of invite e-mails this autumn from people whom I could never suspect to invite me to such network.
    So, now the mystery is solved.
    I wonder did they thought about consequences and community reaction to this dirty trick?