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blog post Report Spam on Uvumi

Marshall Stokes
Posted on Feb 18, 2010 - 14:30 by Marshall Stokes
As many of you have already noticed, some members are abusing the private messaging system to mass-mail lots of users at once to promote their profiles and songs. While this is a promotional platform, and we fully expect people to push the limits of what can be accomplished with Uvumi.com, obviously there needs to be more control for this type of thing.

Here's the issue right now: In lieu of a proper Groups feature, hundreds of members have created band profiles as a temporary solution for forming groups to keep in touch with one another and share songs and comments. We think this is really cool, but it has led to the spam issue because we built the bands feature with real bands in mind, and made it possible to send a private message to all members of a band very easily. Easy communication for bands is good, right? Anyway, this is the aspect of the private message system that is being most abused right now.

Not to worry, however! We are already in the planning and early development stage of a proper Groups feature, and it will definitely solve this issue by giving each member control over the kind of communications they receive via groups, and also by giving the group owners and moderators control over how each group operates.

We will post an announcement and description of our design for Uvumi Groups in the next few days, and we hope to get as much feedback as possible very quickly so we can start finalizing the code and making sure it suits the needs of the Uvumi community. We will also be converting current makeshift "groups" (band profiles being used as groups) to real Uvumi Groups once the system is launched, so it should be pretty easy and seamless from the user perspective.

Anyway, it's going to be great, and pretty soon all that spam should be eliminated, leaving you to carefully manage your friends and weed out those who send you unsolicited messages.

Also, in case you don't know about it, be sure to glance over the Notification options in your Account Setup, as there are some useful options to control the notifications you receive via Uvumi.com.

Older Post: Ad System Launched Newer Post: Feb 21, 2010 - Site Updates

Comments (14)

  • SuperJay's picture
    Word.
    Left by SuperJay, on Apr 9, 2010 - 15:29
    Marshall and Olivier - much thanks for taking the time to address it. I'm here infrequently but when I do visit, it'll be nice to have PMs actually be PERSONAL and not form letters about so-and-so's latest upload or album or concert. (Yes, we are here to discover new music but most listeners prefer to actively control that process on an individual level.)

    Anyway, thanks for the comment and the link, Marshall! I had no idea anyone would even notice. :) Peace y'all - keep up the good work.
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  • Left by Rafael, on Mar 5, 2010 - 13:38
    No worries Marshall you're all doing a great job. :)
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  • Left by Marshall Stokes, on Mar 4, 2010 - 6:25
    Ok looks like we're running a bit behind still. Olivier has been focusing on his (real) job recently and hasn't had as much time to work on Uvumi Groups, but we're doing the best we can and trying to get this thing launched asap!
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  • As always, awesome =D
    Left by Biscuit, on Feb 22, 2010 - 7:55
    Really, I'm happy here. Great post and can't wait to see what's to come!
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  • pablotee's picture
    Left by pablotee, on Feb 22, 2010 - 5:19
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  • Barbas's picture
    Left by Barbas, on Feb 20, 2010 - 8:13
    On the spamming point it would also be nice to be able to mark a message as read without having to open it. I now have to resort to delete
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  • Left by Josh Whelchel, on Feb 20, 2010 - 7:44
    Thanks - this is a good call. Doesn't it make sense just to turn off mass mailing? Bands probably aren't going to communicate via Uvumi, anyway, right?
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    • olivier's picture
      Left by olivier, on Feb 20, 2010 - 15:15
      "Bands probably aren't going to communicate via Uvumi, anyway, right?"

      True, it's just that when we had to decide who to send PM to, friends was the obvious choice and we decided to throw bands in there too, we thought it would not hurt. But like Marshal pointed, we never thought the bands would be used the way they are now, that checking one box would result in sending a message to 200 people.

      At the moment I don't think it is planed to send PM to a whole group, not even for group managers.
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  • Left by marcog, on Feb 19, 2010 - 16:14
    well done.
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  • Automated playlists with new songs since last login
    Left by Roberto, on Feb 19, 2010 - 11:04
    Spams wouldn't be neccecary anymore if everyone can have a list of new songs since last login (or from a given date) of the artists they have in thier favorites and/or in their playlists.

    A list of new songs your friends and your groups have found can also be handy to find new artists.

    Since this site is playlist oriented, the lists mentionned above can be presented as automated playlists. And when you can select which tags you like to hear, you can listen to all the new songs in jazz and blues for instance.
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    • olivier's picture
      Left by olivier, on Feb 20, 2010 - 15:30
      "Spams wouldn't be neccecary anymore if everyone can have a list of new songs since last login"

      I don't totally agree with that. the feature you describe does not exactly exists but there are already many updates of every kind available. That does not stop people from spamming. Some will keep spamming no matter what exposure their music already get.
      I think it particular about people like Bardo or the Rescues. Their music is ok, I can't deny that. But their songs have been in the top 10 for several weeks, first thing you see when you land on the site, so you can't say they did not get exposure. That did not stop them from friending the whole website and sending PMs to everyone (yes, even the staff, which is not a smart move).

      So yes, I agree that having a "new songs" playlist would be nice, but no, I don't think that will stop spammers from spamming.

      But you have to keep in mind we are a very small team, with other jobs (well, uvumi has taken over my other job lately) and the feature you're requesting is not easy at all. So I don't see it happening very soon, especially with the group feature taking all of our time right now
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      • Left by Roberto, on Feb 24, 2010 - 8:12
        It shouldn't be nessecary, but indeed some artists can't resist to spam whatever exposure they have.

        So I don't accept friendships from artists I don't know, or drop them if they happen only to do it to spam me. That is easy to handle.
        There should be a way to blacklist them for receiving group IM's through groups/bands too.

        Becoming a fan of an artist should open a possibility to get messages from the artist to the member; in that case the member initiated the contact and he/she can stop it anytime .

        I know you are a small team, but whenever I have an idea that could be interresting, I'll send it to you. Thanks for putting it on the stack 'could be nice in the future' :-)

        Keep up the good work,
        and enjoy the music :-)
      • Left by Marshall Stokes, on Feb 24, 2010 - 11:53
        I think the spam issue will be pretty well controlled when we finally launch Uvumi Groups. And we can make it easier to see what's new in your network by providing a filtering tool on the dash, so you can see specific update types (like music, blogs, photos, friendships, etc) with a simple mouse click right in your dash. Hopefully we'll have that filtering feature out pretty soon, and as for the spam, Roberto makes some good points, you can easily unfriend people who send too many messages, and comment spam is already controllable by setting your profile to only allow comments from friends. The real issue right now is the mass messaging via bands, which as I said, will cease to be an issue as soon as groups are ready. More on that soon, I'm working on an announcement to detail our plan for implementing groups, and Olivier has already written much of the base code for the new platform.
  • Digdug's picture
    Left by Digdug, on Feb 19, 2010 - 8:59
    Good call Marshall. I'm beginning to find the spamming via PMs sent to whole groups a bit annoying. I get an email to say I've got a new PM, go and open it expecting just that - a PERSONAL message addressed to me - and am disappointed to find just an impersonal round robin. It's the community feel that's so good about this site atm, so it'd be a shame to see it go down the impersonal MySpace route.

    Anyway, that's just my view. Different people have different preferences, so I guess the best way to deal with it is to give people options to opt in or out of messages sent to whole groups. That way everyone's happy.

    Will be excited to see the new groups format :-)
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