How many weeks does it take the scum to show up on a social medium?

It’s a little like “change a lightbulb” jokes, but even less funny.

How long ago did Meebo add Rooms? Two weeks? Three weeks? More?

There’s a “group” (or “ungroup”) that I tried out–partly to see how this chatroom stuff works when I’m doing stuff that requires my presence but that really can’t take full attention (there is some of that in my soon-to-depart job–a LOT during the first six days of a month–and sometimes at home), partly because people I know and like were already there.

It’s been great: A random mix of “anything goes” posts and actual problem-solving/topical discussions. Of course, it’s multitasking, at which I stink, but I stop when I’m doing Serious Thinking and Writing.

And today, we, and apparently every other Meebo Room with any popularity, got hit with driveby not-safe-for-work spam: apparently scripted accounts that show up, post a link, and disappear within less than a second total.

Once every two or three minutes. Rotating through different usernames and domain links, but always the same message and eventual destination (I suspect).

This is truly sad. Either Meebo Rooms will have to engineer some new protections, or the specific room will have to be password-protected, or it will just disappear.

The good people on the net far outnumber the scum. But one scumbag with a script can make life miserable for a million good people.

No moral to this story.

Postscript at the next coffee break: A new password-protected room has been created. In the real world, I don’t much want to live in a gated community (and we don’t). But in the real world, you don’t get people storming through neighborhoods at 60mph throwing bags of…well, whatever…onto every window once an hour, or there would be a lot more gated communities.

3 Responses to “How many weeks does it take the scum to show up on a social medium?”

  1. jennimi Says:

    Walt, I love your gated community analogy!

  2. Jenn Says:

    This would be one of the main reasons no one chats on Yahoo! Games anymore. We used to have silly conversations and pleas for help show up during games like Spelldown. But those solitaire games were hit by the same script a few years ago, and apparently Yahoo decided not to create the gated community. The result was the sound of silence. Few leave the chat enabled anymore.

  3. walt Says:

    The gated community analogy seemed like a natural. We currently live in an actual neighborhood–one where we’re acquainted with most of the people on our one-block street, we have the occasional block party, people go for walks…all that good stuff. It’s absolutely not gated. We’re not even on a cul-de-sac; that one block is one side of a wide semicircle that defines the neighborhood but doesn’t restrict access. So I think about real-world analogies to virtual spaces. (By the way, when there is a block party–usually a potluck in one of the driveways–the invitation, on this block full of Silicon Valley high-tech workers, is delivered door-to-door in paper form. We do not have a “virtual block.”)

    What happened yesterday just made me think of a real-world analogy, and why gates might be natural results. In this case, a password serves as a gate of sorts. Too bad it’s needed.


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