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Badoo Spam

Unsolicited e-mail from, by, or to do with, Badoo Social NetworkingBadoo


This is not the first time I have encountered Social Networking sites sending spam. Indeed, there was a problem a while ago with Facebook Spam, and now Badoo seems to have fallen for the same thing. Sending spam out in a desperate attempt to lure new members, does seem a poor way of marketing.

Badoo spam is especially irksome as it is sent on behalf of members of Badoo without their knowledge.

In the case of Badoo, they seemed at first to be better than to send spam, better than the appalling Facebook problem, and certainly sufficiently good that they'd not stoop so low as to get involved with the disreputable business of sending spam!

Badoo even had a proper affiliate program, which was being promoted here. Unfortunately it was short-lived, leaving the newly-created Badoo page as a relic.

As with other social networking, spam sent by the company is disguised to look as if it is sent by members. This is a cunning way of hiding the fact that the social networking companies are sending spam and could be likely to be legally charged with being a public nuisance. However in the case of Badoo, rather than have fake members who send out spam invites, the Badoo spam sending system impersonates members who are actual people who have joined the social networking system. This is a problem and could put people off joining.

In the case of Badoo spam, it's quite usual for a random e-mail address anywhere on the Internet to receive a message apparently FROM a previously existing member of Badoo. The message is made-up to look like it is a personal invitation from that person, but when they are asked, they have no knowledge of it.

So, it seems to be that if you join Badoo , there is a downside that you will unwittingly be framed as a sender of unsolicited invitations! How'd you like that!? "Join our club and we will send unsolicited messages on your behalf to random harvested e-mails trying to invite new members at random!" ... It doesn't seem like a good selling point. This makes it much more difficult for us honest affiliates to promote Badoo in any way approximating to wholeheartedly!

A further indignity associated with the spams received by various websites allegedly "from" Badoo and/or allegedly "from" members, is that the unsolicited e-mail addresses then appear to be automatically subscribed, creating new accounts. These are sometimes spawned with the name of a previously existing member of the club.

So, if you have an e-mail address, and you are not a member of Badoo, here's what can happen:

1. You receive an unsolicited invitation apparently from a member of Badoo. If you reply, you find they don't know you, and they are unaware of sending any such messages.

2. Without opting-in or in any other way participating in Badoo, you are automatically signed-up and an account created for you. You receive, unsolicited, a password and a sign-up, and then you start receiving copies quantities of Badoo guff.

3. You have to log in to Badoo and terminate your account (an account which you did nor create) to avoid receiving further stuff.

Whilst this sort of thing may dress-up the membership figures to make Badoo look good, it does not to the Public Relations of the company any good at all!

Furthermore, if you were to actually join Badoo, you could have the following happen to you:

1. Your personal privacy could be compromised. (I don't know if they as bad as Facebook, but it seems unlikely).

2. Your personal identity is then used as a FRONT to help to sell Badoo. In effect, Badoo sends spam messages pretending you sent them, to invite random people, companies, and organisations, to join Badoo.

3. Some of the people out there in the wider world write to you as if you invited them or sent spam! Not just folks, but commercial companies, organisations, and generally people who might assume YOU have roped them into an unsolicited membership of some social-networking fiasco which you have no desire to be involved with.

My own experience with the Badoo Spam problem is as follows:

I run my own website Zyra.org.uk , and it is a large online resource with helpful information about a great many things. I also help a mental health good cause with their website. I have never joined Badoo as a member, but I have promoted them on an affiliate program. A while after Badoo "paused" their legit affiliate program, a message arrived, to a random e-mail address at the mental health site, inviting it to join Badoo. It was entirely inappropriate as the invitation was personal and yet to a public organisation. It would be like saying "Dear help-services[at]mental-health-uk.oorg.uk, you have personally been invited by a member to join Badoo. Meet new members in YOUR AREA!" etc.

I replied to the message and pointed out that the message had been sent inappropriately. The member responded and said that the mental health condition could be cured by joining a dance clubbing site. The character was obviously innocent and naive and had no idea that these messages were being sent out.

Later, the mental health site's public address received messages from Badoo saying in effect "Dear Fred, thanks for joining Badoo! Here's your password. You will receive the following advantages of membership. Meet new friends... etc". The name of the new bogus account was the harvested identity of the member who was being impersonated earlier.

Well, something is clearly wrong!

Looking around online, I am not the only person to have sussed that there is Badoo spam going around. Some people are less conciliatory about it than I am.

The thing to bear in mind about this Badoo problem is that the members are not actually sending the spam messages. They are being in-effect impersonated by Badoo and then become the apparent spam-senders. As the messages look like personal invitations, and their origin is deceptively adjusted, it would be very hard to prove the culpability of anyone involved.

What the people who run Badoo don't realise is that on the Internet, it isn't the legal case that matters; it's the reputation. Badoo will have a hard time restoring any confidence in their system.

This has happened against a backdrop of global social networking fiasco, where Facebook has been floated on the stockmarket and suffered a bait-and-switch dumping of the shares, and a lot of money being lost by a lot of people. This, and the subsequent accusations from numerous critics saying in effect that Facebook is worthless anyway, has resulted in the share prices of Facebook crashing.

With a vote-of-no-confidence in Facebook, what can a smaller network such as Badoo do? Well, they should prove they are better than Facebook! They should disavow the bad behaviour of Facebook and show that Badoo is social networking done properly.

Unfortunately that's not what's happened, and instead the pseudo-viral spam marketing technique has made the place look really disreputable.

I hope Badoo clean up their act and then we can get back to promoting them here at proper websites! I'm willing to update this page with further information as it comes in. You can write to me if you like.

Other people's accounts of the phenomenon of Badoo spam exist as references as follows:

http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!category-topic/gmail/ask-a-how-to-question/Jh2L2rlh4AU

http://www.aviiz.com/badoo - (French)

www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/badoocom-c448752.html

http://www.mywot.com/en/forum/7714-badoo-at-it-again - scandalous! surely that isn't true, is it?

www.abclinuxu.cz/blog/digger/2010/1/badoo-spam-generator - (Czech)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk%3ABadoo

Note: Remember, Facebook is at least as bad, and in many ways much worse!


Meanwhile, Zyra's website has pages about all kinds of things, and numerous worthwhile online shops. See shopping , famous name brands , and categories. It's also good for advice, on a wide range of diverse topics.