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Friday, December 08, 2006

YouTube Email Spam Getting Bad

I've been a member of the YouTube community for some time, using it as a platform for publishing both family and business-oriented videos.

Marketing by Members
I've long received invitations from other YouTube members to be their friend, which means that I'll receive their bulletins on my profile page when I log in, as well as an email to my gmail inbox to let me know they've posted said bulletin.

This is a simple way for members to let other members know they have new videos out, and video views is what moves certain vids into top positions on high traffic pages, insuring still more views.

YouTube gets more pageviews from this of course, so it's in their strong interest to promote the promotions of their members.

Comment Spam
Text comments about videos, where YouTube members leave their thoughtful, insightful criticisms of each others' work, have long been a target for spammers too.

A frequently viewed video has naturally large numbers of people reading the comments. Throw a few pill links in the comment section of a top video and you're sure to get some traffic.

And now, introducing YouTube email spam!
Like MySpace, and most online forums, YouTube has an inter-member email service. In the last couple days I've started to get Brazilian porn spam and pill spam in my YouTube email inbox.

I have 12 sitting in my inbox now since yesterday.

I'm used to the porn marketers in MySpace setting up fake hot chick accounts. Heck there are even real porn stars who have MySpace accounts as a method of marketing their wares and interacting with fans.

It's fascinating to watch spammers discover unexploited niches - I just wish they were more engaging :)

By Garrett at 09:12 AM | Comments (12)

(12) Thoughts on YouTube Email Spam Getting Bad

Things have gotten bad on RetroWinnipeg. I'm now getting dozens and dozens of spam each day. Isn't there a way to report spam from our inboxes?

Comments by Jason : Friday, December 08, 2006 at 03:18 PM

Thanks for this piece. It mirrors my take on YouTube spam quite nicely. I wrote to YouTube customer service this afternoon about the porn spam piling up in my YouTube inbox. I trusted the service by opening an account just a few weeks ago. I hope my trust in YouTube is not misplaced. I'm waiting to hear back from them and will post anything useful.

Here are some excerpts from my letter to YouTube:

"This spam is clearly in violation of YouTube TOS and federal law. I trust that YouTube takes this matter very seriously. Since there's no way for me to examine the full header and IP addresses in the spam, I must count on YouTube to deal with it and take action.

This porn spam advertises the same website: CUZINHOBR.NET. As a web designer and admin, I'm curious to know if YouTube can filter and block any user-to-user mail traffic containing the phrase CUZINHOBR.NET -- and if not, why not. I'd also like to know why there's no mechanism in the user mail interface whereby users can flag mail as spam for your immediate attention."

I then supplied YouTube with Whois info I collected about the porn spam domain. Here's the last paragraph of my letter to YouTube:

"YouTube certainly has the muscle to launch an investigation in order to discover who is behind CUZINHOBR.NET and its illegal network abuse. This would help protect YouTube's members and reputation. It would also put spammers on notice that YouTube aggressively protects its brand and members."

I didn't sign up for YouTube service in order to receive even more spam. I hope YouTube clearly understands that a "free" service isn't free if it steals my time and bandwidth.

Comments by art101 : Friday, December 08, 2006 at 06:33 PM

If you look at comments on videos YouTube built in a "this is spam" button for folks to mark comments as spam. I can see that getting some abuse but it's a good start.

I think they held of on the email because there ARE so many unsolicited emails being sent between members trying to get some distribution and build some buzz around their indie bubble gum factory. or whatever.

As far as I know there's no way to mark email items as spam. There will be shortly I'm sure :)

art101 that is truly a badass email of customer empowerment. Kudos :)

Comments by Garrett French : Saturday, December 09, 2006 at 09:01 AM

Youtube is one of the most popular video sharing sites on the net. A year ago, co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen were in between jobs, a pair of twentysomething geeks running up big credit card debts as they tooled around a garage trying to develop an easy way for people to share homemade videos on the Web.

Hurley says, "I do not want to work hard. I want to live a soft life. I want to sleep for three hours every afternoon and nine hours at night. I do not want to stay awake the whole day so that I can get a few 350 grand at the end of each month. I do not want my talents to be exploited by a ruthless employer. I am a lazy man. That is why I choose to live off the net. I am too lethargic to try and survive in the real world. That is why I did not bother to hold down a job though my credit card debt soared.

"On the net things are handed to me by Google. The idea of youtube came to me from a dinner party with a half-dozen friends in the greatest city in the world San Francisco. It was January, 2005, and we couldnt figure out a good solution. Sending the clips around by e-mail was a bust: The e-mails kept getting rejected because they were so big. Posting the videos online was a headache, too. So we created a site and put in basic software.

"What I and Steve came up with is a Web site, now called YouTube, that has become an Internet phenomenon. Show the honey and the bees will flock to it. We worked for about six hours each week in a garage like that Apple dude Steve Jobs for two months designing youtube. We had the idea to create a community around the video.

“Once that was done we knew that tons of millions of dollars would just flow into our laps after the Google buyour. We will not have to work hard. In the old economy you have to work really hard for a lousy promotion which might give you a few more grand if your employer is very generous. You have to get up early in the morning and run for a few 350 grand each month. On the net you can become rich without working hard.

"On the net once you have the idea you just sit at home and then magic will happen. That is exactly what happened at Paypal, Skype, MySpace, Facebook. The basic, simple to design software that I and Chen designed allows people to post almost anything they like on YouTube in minutes. People can jack off on porn. Now we are sitting at home retired early after the Google buyout. Content has been handed to us on a silver platter. We do not have to slog hard to create content like a poorly paid online journalist who makes a lousy 450k each year. We do not have to experience daily financial pressure
because our site does not get enough readers. We are not under pressure to meet deadlines. We get up at ten in the morning and consider that to be hard work. We do not have to work for ten llllong years. That is the privilege of those in the old economy. they take the tube to go to work for a bum 350,000 dollar paycheck at the end of the month.

"We have it easy. The reason why we never held a job for more than a year was because we felt that a rope was attached to out necks. We would have had to stay chained in an office with four walls. It is such a pain to get up in the morning and run for the sake of a few 350 milli grand at the end of the month. The content that we offer is free. That is easy for us to that as we do not have to work to create it. Copyrighted work is there for our users to copy and paste as that is work which we have the right to copy. Other content
comes from common folk wanting to share stuff.

"Revenues will come from advertising. The net is a click and eyeballs business. Google understands this. All I had to do was make web users some crap. I had to keep it really, really simple and watch as the 400 million moronic teenagers flock to it. Forget about working hard for a a lousy 350 grand at the end of the month. That’s so old school.

“If you get the eyeballs you get the offer. You don’t have to be first, you just have to be simple and appeal to the web crowd. Then Google, the original ‘not first, but simple’ giant will write you a check. That’s the new business model. Figure out the next hot thing that you can make simple for the average web user (kids) and those two ugly dudes from Google Sergei Brin and Larry Page will send you a jet full of cash. It’s not about brains or talent or skill which I lack as I am a child of the Internet. It’s about timing and simplicity.

“The clicks come from youtube's millions of eyeballs that we have not worked for. It is unearned traffic. We do not have to sweat and bleed for it. That is the privilege of poorly paid online journalists. I do not have to worry about losing my job as my content does not get enough page views. I do not have to take the initiative about my own life. I do not have to discipline myself. I do not have to worry about having a career. The millions of youtube.com visitors will ensure that this will never happen. I can simply focus on trying to build relationships with my tall, tough women friends in San Francisco. We hang out together. We work out together. We sleep in the afternoon together."

Comments by chad hurley : Sunday, March 04, 2007 at 12:39 AM

Will have to agree.

I have started seeing 2 different kinds of ad-windows. One that appears to be YouTube video and is not but a HTML link, and the other is YouTube using the system to advert their products.

YouTube, unless these advertisers are paying you money I would not allow this. I appreciate the fact that YouTube accepts all kinds of video, however unfortunately, it does seem like this is an alternative branch for spammers, and free no less.

Please consider,
Thank you,
dw817

Comments by psxsite : Thursday, August 02, 2007 at 04:41 PM

Is there a way to contact You Tube besides their e-mail template? Is there an e-mail address of some sort??

Comments by Ashley : Friday, January 04, 2008 at 01:20 PM

how can i join you tube

Comments by tenisha : Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 12:55 PM

Thanks for helping stop YouTube spam

Comments by Mohamad Afiza : Friday, January 15, 2010 at 12:20 PM

i MARK as spam everytime i see spam...doing my bit in the war against spam

Comments by SADS : Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 09:55 PM

Pff, worse than spam is people complaining about it. The www is loaded with "legitimate" paid ads, blinking banners, click here click there. No one complains about them, in my book it's the same. If I see spam in my inbox, I just ignore/delete it, no big deal, that's just part of internet. If you think it's a waste of time, then just get off of Internet. TV commercials, ain't that a waste of time? You still stare at it 50% of the time you're watching tv. Why is it so bad when it's on the web? Don't you get tons of useless stuff in your mailbox at home? You're stupid enough to waste even more time writing an article to complain about it. If you can't stand capitalism, go on a deserted island in the middle of the pacific or something >.>

Comments by loki_t34 : Sunday, January 24, 2010 at 12:33 AM

Video player keeps stopping what is the problem

Comments by Raj : Wednesday, August 18, 2010 at 01:39 PM

I think you need a better internet connection.
You could wait until the red line at the bottom of the video fills up, THEN start the video

Comments by At Raj : Sunday, July 31, 2011 at 09:12 AM

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