Thursday, January 01, 2009

Toxic Social Media

You'd hardly think that spam would be the first input toward popularity, but here it is. Recently, I made what I thought was more of a whining complaint about (and, thinking that if I just got the thought out of my head about how annoying these two sites are (mainly, though), that it would settle my mind a bit and I could go back to my usual facebook perusal and joy. My profile had been viewed exactly two times in history -- and I'm honestly proud of this fact -- or I was. Now my profile on is extremely popular. Why? Because I used their lame blogging feature (lemme tell ya, it's really lame) to post the complaint. Knowing what I know about shiftless ethics and sites that edit your postings to remove "offensive" URLs, I posted the "real" blog entry here. Oh, and's auto-editor chopped all references to facebook and classmates out horribly -- it left my article reading like a picket fence.

So far it's stayed. I have no idea why it's popular, because finding my own damn blog posting on their site is tricky -- how other people found it is honestly beyond me. There is one clue, however -- the people that found it and commented upon it have all signed up for their service. Actually, I'm very hesitant to call what they're offering "service" in this context.

Let's look at some of the responses, so far:

  • Very well said.
    I too am one of the lonely saps who got suckered in... I'm in a wheelchair now, not able to get out much. The net is the link to the outside world for folks like me. .Going to Facebook. The only way these predatory sites can be stopped, (or at least thinned out) is to boycott.
That's one example. Google a bit on and boycott and some really disturbing things come up. Recent complaints come up: This is something lending me to believe that the problem is far worse than I had imagined. I, luckily, did not sign up for their "service". I find stuff like this, and I can only imagine how pissed off I'd be if I had been tempted to do so. is example of Toxic Social Media -- media that isn't leveraging social connections to enhance the social experience one might have in real life. Instead, it's using aspects of human nature to trick end-users into choices that turn out to be more or less a dead-end street.

Here's another post on my blog entry:

  • wow couldnt have said it better myself paul.

    i agree 100 percent,well lessoned learned for me,i just payed yesterday and i am counciling any future payments taken out of my account,amanda in louisiana!

And another one:
  • I totally agree, unfortunately I am one of the poor saps that got robbed for $60.00 (their premium feature). This site is preying upon people searching for family members and it does not live up to what it blatantly advertises. If you enter a name and see there is a possible match-they want "MORE" money to get that information. I can see now why they say their service is non refundable, it stinks.....spread the word........
Well, that's as good a set of marching orders as I can imagine. I think I will be glad to do just that.

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