You know, my buddy Mitch Allen has been lamenting the high number of spam comments that have been coming to his blog. Whereas I also get a lot of spam, it doesn’t bother me because I find that logging the ISPs into the discussion area of the settings helps keep it down for a large part, and I did end up reactivating Akismet again.
What has been irking me more often these days is all the email I keep getting from people using Gmail in trying to get me to trade links with them or offering to provide SEO services. I know all of this is spam, and even though they have that little disclaimer message at the end saying I can opt out, I’ve found that no I can’t, because they just create another account and continue sending garbage out.
I don’t use Gmail. Well, let me rephrase that. I don’t actively use Gmail. When I purchased my smartphone and had to set it up, because HTC is owned by Google they automatically overrode my username, which was my business email address, and added their own onto it (an email address they created because I’d never gone to create one). This meant that when I get notification that Adsense pays me, or that there’s new advertisers on GAN, or if someone subscribes to my YouTube site, or if anything happens on my G+ account, I get an email notification via Gmail, which I delete since the only place it shows up is on my phone.
Anyway, I had always thought that Google said there were qualifications people had to pass that they didn’t have to pass to create other shared email services that helped prevent spammers from gaining traction. Either I imagined that or once they decided they wanted to expand their participation base so that they could track us all better and override our privacy (oops, did I say that) they also decided to relax their standards and stopped caring who created accounts or what they did with them.
Frankly I think this stinks, and I think it’s one of the biggest failures of Google that, unfortunately, I also don’t think they have much chance to control or stop. Just like Hotmail in the past, it’s all about numbers and easy access to creating these accounts. Pretty much like I lamented about G+ recently, they let anyone create an account and don’t hold them accountable for filling out a profile. Sure, their numbers look impressive, but with an active base of less than 10% (that’s a high estimate) participating what’s it really worth?
I can’t be alone on this; who else is tired of the misuse of Gmail?