Hey, Moderator! Ban Me!

Yes. I mean what I say there. Go ahead. Ban me.

It probably won’t happen because I don’t use Yahoo mail. Apparently, people with Yahoo mail have had their email addresses “spoofed” by spammers. This is not an uncommon thing in this day and age. It happens a lot to people who a) put their email addresses out there on websites and such regularly, b) it happens to people who have gotten a virus, and c) it happens to people who use those free POP3 mail accounts like Yahoo and Gmail.

A lot of authors, readers, and others on Yahoo groups have had their Yahoo mail accounts send out spam recently. The spam is being sent, not to individual people so much as it’s being sent out to the Yahoo groups. Most groups have rules about spam and will ban you if you do it.

But here’s my problem with that rule: Usually, when something like this occurs, it’s not the fault of the person whose email address was spoofed. It could happen to anyone who has a Yahoo mail account.

Banning the person doesn’t make a lot of sense when it was something they didn’t do on purpose. Groups whose mods and owners get obnoxious and ban these victims show incredible ignorance. I would prefer not to be on a group with someone who doesn’t understand how technology works and uses a situation like this to be mean. Also, if all the groups start banning their members who have been spoofed, pretty soon they won’t have too many members because most of them use Yahoo mail, Gmail, and Hotmail.

The other problem I have with this witch hunt attitude is that I’ve seen mods and owners turn a blind eye to authors who spam and promo outside the rules of the group. Those are their favored authors I suppose, but to me, a rule is a rule. If you are not the owner, you shouldn’t be breaking the rules and allowed to get away with it.

I see a lot of posts that start with “I’m sorry if you feel this is promo but…” and then they promo something. The mods might email the person after and delete the message from the group’s web interface, but those who use email to receive their Yahoo group messages (the majority of us) have already gotten the message and deleting it is closing the barn door after the horse has bolted.

And what about those people who break the rules of one or two promo posts allowed per day? I can’t tell you how many authors I’ve seen break this rule. I have my Spam filter set to put anything from them directly into the Spam folder. It’s rude. And it’s hugely annoying. I don’t want to read five sexy excerpts from the same 20K book every day on 50 loops for weeks on end. I’ve read more than a quarter of it with those excerpts! I understand posting one or two promos on every group that allows promo that day, but c’mon. Some of the stuff I see is just nuts. Those authors aren’t getting more readers, they are growing their list of readers and authors who have them on auto-delete.

Another thing about all this that gets old is the litany of emails from half the group telling each other that the Spam email is a Spam email. C’mon. Give it up. One or two people announcing it is all you need. Do you think we can’t read? That you have to reiterate it over and over? I rather think I have enough brain cells to figure this out without the endless repetition.

Okay, I’m about to step off my ranty little soap box here in a moment, but before I do, I want to encourage those of you who have been banned and/or spoken to in a mean, obnoxious, and unnecessarily harsh manner by a group mod, to NOT FEEL BAD. You are better off out of a group run by someone who is ignorant and arrogant. If they cannot behave professionally and courteously, you don’t need to be there. I don’t care how “popular” they currently are. Popularity can wane and situations like there where someone you thought was sweet turns into a virago are often catalysts to the decline of their popularity.

If you feel I’ve been a little more ranty than usual, you’re probably right. However, I rather think I have more to back my opinion in this than others do. You see, I’m an IT professional and have been for almost 16 years. Companies PAY ME to be a tech and run their network. I have to know how this stuff works.  And yanno, I wouldn’t have been a Network Admin for this long had I not made it a point to know my job and do it well.

So, go ahead and ban me all you mods and group owners who feel free to become obnoxious over the spamming stuff that’s going on with Yahoo mail and Yahoo groups. Go ahead and take me off your groups. I don’t really want to see your meanness and your ignorance anyway. It just makes me disgusted at the state of mankind and humanity. And all of you who have been banned for this spam attack, feel free to email me. I’ll tell you about some groups where the owners and mods are not only educated about this sort of stuff, but who have a hell of a lot more compassion for their fellow man than these mean people do.

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7 Responses to Hey, Moderator! Ban Me!

  1. martymankins says:

    Excellent post. And as a fellow IT/ Network Admin, the ignorance of dealing with this is uncalled for. There are ways around this other than just blanket banning Yahoo email addresses. Staying one step ahead of the spammers is the key, not pinning the spam on one domain of email accounts.
    .-= martymankins´s last blog ..I’m Buzzed =-.

  2. Well said, Lex. It's awful enough for the author to have their email account hacked to begin with but to be banned for something that they had no control over is inexcusable. Especially because this past week it's happened to so many authors. Ignorant is right.

  3. I had to remove one from my newsletter yesterday. What ticked me off about it is that my newsletter is set to membership pending approval. This chick signed up, said she was interested in my work, then began spamming my newsletter. Yup, I really want to buy some Viagra and meet Asian girls, for God's sake.
    .-= Faith Bicknell-Brown´s last blog ..Let it snow! =-.

  4. Carol says:

    Oh, what a good point!

    Groups who do NOT ban blatant, illegal promos, but DO ban accidental spammnig.

    Well said, Lex!

    They invite, with open arms, the intentional abusers, but ditch the innocent.

    Good blog.
    .-= Carol´s last blog ..Eat Your Heart Out, Carrie Bradshaw…… =-.

  5. Loved the post Lex. Straight up and to the point. Group owners need to realize these people are victims and if they could prevent the spamming they would have. Instead the owners should focus on stopping the people who spam deliberately, saturating the groups with endless excerpts…Grrr!!!

  6. Tess MacKall says:

    Well said. I think sometimes the human equation is left out and stupidity just plain takes over. These group owners who ban people just because of a spamming mistake aren't worth knowing. And these are the same group owners who allow promo by authors who are breaking the rules. Their cronies, apparently.
    .-= Tess MacKall´s last blog ..Hello world! =-.

  7. Some groups claim to have zero-tolerance policies concerning spam, so they'll delete anyone who spams, regardless of whether the email was spoofed or not.

    Unfortunately, some of those "zero-tolerance" loops do tend to tolerate robo-posts from authors who promoblast their books until some loops look like nonstop advertisements. Guess their definition of "spam" doesn't include "rude, inconsiderate authors who think they're entitled to smack the entire universe in the face by disobeying rules to sell their books."

    Zero tolerance policies don't work anyway. When it's documented that spoofing is making the rounds of Yahoo email addies, group mods/owners should take that into account when deciding whether to ban someone. It isn't as though we're sitting here saying, "Hey, spoofers, come steal my email so you can spam everyone."
    .-= Karenna Colcroft´s last blog ..Tess MacKall is dropping by… =-.