September 2, 2007

mea culpa.

Yours Truly just got hit by the Quechup sting..

If you've received an e-mail from them, on mine or anyone else's behalf, please delete immediately.

I'm really sorry about that, Folks. Not to mention, mortified and embarrassed.

Fucking scumbags. I am utterly livid.

Posted by hugh macleod at September 2, 2007 12:26 PM | TrackBack

Yeah, Hugh, I was wondering about that. Didn't seem your style, and I found a rant about them and their process on which sticks the knife in fairly deeply.

- alec

Posted by: alec muffett at September 2, 2007 12:45 PM

No-one attaches any blame to you. It got a bunch of folk on the continent last month. I had the same problem about 18 months ago with another service. Utterly embarrassing but people are forgiving when they know when you've been hoodwinked.

Posted by: Dennis Howlett at September 2, 2007 12:48 PM

I got on email from them on your behalf earlier today, thought it was a little odd but went ahead and signed up. I'm hoping those fuckers haven't spammed my entire address book.

Posted by: Ben Askins at September 2, 2007 1:06 PM

I also thought it didn't sound like you, so deleted it... I'm just glad you didn't know my *clean* email address ;-)

Posted by: Richard Carter at September 2, 2007 1:41 PM

Ah, well. That's what I get when I check my email before checking my feeds. Shit.

Posted by: Michael Martine at September 2, 2007 2:06 PM

And I thought you wanted to be super special internet friends with me... *sniff*

Posted by: David Parmet at September 2, 2007 2:08 PM

Hehe, ok, moral is trust twitter / feeds more than mail :)

Good thing their database has been acting up for hours so they did not get me!

Posted by: sig at September 2, 2007 2:41 PM

I know the feeling David.


Posted by: Hrishi at September 2, 2007 2:57 PM

I signed up via your invite and was about to see if any of my contacts were already on too. Luckily I got distracted with something.

Good job too.

Posted by: Stephen Davies at September 2, 2007 3:18 PM

Man, you really got me scared for a minute!

Posted by: Jorge Fuentes at September 2, 2007 3:48 PM

I think we have to remember that pre-web2 marketing techniques rely largely on, whether malicious or not, tricking people. As someone who's company has been undergoing an online transition, I can understand having to reign in your baser instincts(or in Quechup's case, not). Let's face it, yesterday the Q-folks got a shitload of hits,which in an old-world sense is important, but a simple Google search now reveals a rather staggering onslaught of hate and anger, which will quickly become an onslaught of nothingness and deadness.

Posted by: SethE at September 2, 2007 4:43 PM

Yes, I got one of these emails also and thought I would check it out since you were "recommending" it. Through the sign up process I wondered what the hell you liked about it because it seemed pretty lame. Glad you posted this!

Posted by: Misty Olen at September 2, 2007 5:07 PM

Shit, I should have looked at gapingvoid before accepting the invite! How did the site get all those email addresses from you in the first place? I haven't used the "check for friends" form so hopefully I haven't added to the damage in any way.

Posted by: Keith Handy at September 2, 2007 5:18 PM

No worries, I had a niggling doubt after clicking through to the site. Didn't look 2.0 enough for you to be wildly supporting/promoting it!

Glad I checked.

No harm done... but we do need to use the word "schmuck" more often! :)

Posted by: Vero Pepperrell at September 2, 2007 5:26 PM

> Hehe, ok, moral is trust twitter / feeds more than mail :)

Also, don't enter your user/password for X on anything other than the login page of X.
Same goes for webpages offering to check your email for you, or web-based FTP interfaces that can upload stuff to your homepage for you.. you don't know what else they're going to do with your account info.

Regards, Martin

Posted by: Maarten Spreij at September 2, 2007 5:55 PM

I'd already heard about it, so I figured that's what happened. Heck, I didn't even know you had my e-mail address!

Posted by: Average Jane at September 2, 2007 6:04 PM

I got about 14 of these yesterday (only three of them from you, Hugh!). Anyway, it was enough of them that I ignored it :)


Posted by: Rob La Gesse at September 2, 2007 6:29 PM

I don't understand how anyone lets Quechup, Facebooks and friends get into their email accounts.

First of all, not everybody on my address book is a friend, nor "friendable". Much less all the roadkill still in my inbox.

Do you really want to "quechup" with

Posted by: Andres B at September 2, 2007 7:14 PM

I didn't get one! I didn't get one! Ha de Ha de Ha Ha. Nah Nah de Nah ... Oh wait. Nevermind.

Posted by: Dave Armstrong at September 2, 2007 8:02 PM

I saw it and said "Lets check Hugh's web site first -- after all, the Web can do -useful- things too ..."

It's a relief to find out they are (quote) scumbags. Now I won't bother to sign with them.

Posted by: Tom Tac at September 2, 2007 8:12 PM


I thought to myself, ooh, the mighty Hugh wants to invite little old ME to some cool new social network. That has to be good.

I even emailed a geek friend to boast.

Now I feel unwanted, unloved and silly.



Posted by: Damian at September 2, 2007 8:41 PM

I was more offended by the clumsy use of "invite" as a noun instead of "inviation" in the subject of the email: "Invite from Hugh MacLeod".

Posted by: Stuart Mudie at September 2, 2007 8:46 PM

They say there's no such thing as bad publicity...
I signed up to linked in a while back and they gave the option to check my email account to see if any of my contacts were already on linked in - I chose not to give them my email username / password

trust no-one

Posted by: Phil at September 2, 2007 9:40 PM

Thanks for being so kind and supportive, Everybody.

I am still fuming about it, though... [Sigh]

Posted by: hugh macleod at September 2, 2007 10:12 PM

Hell, I was just happy to get mail from you! LOL Hope you have a great week!

Posted by: Marti at September 3, 2007 12:35 AM

I am sorry to hear that you got nailed by this, Hugh. This makes me glad to be not into the whole social this-and-that site trend.

I understand why you might want to expose your address book—to search for friends and acquaintances. As a rule, I do not enter anyone else's e-mail address in any form on any Web site other than an e-mail service (e.g., Gmail) without permission and I cannot recall the last time I made an exception to that rule, but I think I understand what it is you were trying to accomplish by providing your address book to this Web site in this case.

What I do not understand, though, is why you trusted that site or its people—or why you would trust any site or any site's people, aside from e-mail services (e.g., a service that aggregates e-mail from multiple accounts)—with your e-mail password. What did they do to convince you to entrust such sensitive information? How did they gain that level of trust from you?

Posted by: Brian Sexton at September 3, 2007 12:36 AM

It's disgraceful when that happens. Didn't Adriana suffer the same fate with something similar a while back?

Fortunately I deleted Hugh's and CC Chapman's invites to Quetchup because I'm suffering from social network fatigue.

Looking on the bright side - Quetchup must now be officially fucked. They can't possibly hope to survive this kind of bad publicity.

Posted by: Alex Bellinger at September 3, 2007 12:19 PM

As I was signing up in a bit of a daze this morning I was thinking it all seemed a bit strange. Luckily I popped by your blog just after and cancelled the account.

I wonder how long they will hang on for now...

Posted by: Michelle Penny at September 3, 2007 3:00 PM

Hmmm. Not only is it embarrassing, although their bad behaviour is not your responsibility, but doesn't this violate a LOT of European data use laws. They are in general stricter than the the USA equivalents, and I am sure that they have not though about this in detail.

lawyerfest, methinks. (If you are in the UK or Europe...)

Posted by: hamish at September 3, 2007 8:45 PM

I got one of these too... Didn't seem your style.

Posted by: Phil Gomes at September 3, 2007 9:03 PM

Yeah, I got yours, and checked my contact list and got hit too. Stupid. I really should know better. It's pretty shifty to spam everyone when all you're doing is checking your address book for others you know in the system, though.

Posted by: Timmy D at September 4, 2007 8:09 AM

Oops, they got me too..!

Posted by: Richard Hare at September 4, 2007 1:40 PM

You sent me an invitation, I accepted,
they have spam my all contact list I feel really bad.
Should have known better.
Next time i will be very very carefull

Posted by: Silvana at September 4, 2007 3:08 PM

So you're human after all?

It got me too. Serves me right for ignoring my instincts. Lesson learned, no real harm, no real foul. What's a little spam between friends?

Posted by: Alan at September 4, 2007 6:53 PM

I aborted the whole thing at registration.. YET... they still spammed hundreds in my contact list. It was very early in the morning, when I opened the email and began registering, perhaps I let something slip but I don't think so.
Very disappointing and so completely embarassing. I'm not going to beat myself up over it and don't you either Hugh.

Posted by: Michelle at September 4, 2007 10:13 PM

Somewhat ironic that I should receive an invite from you since I've been banned from commenting on the 'void for quite some time. Maybe this'll prove me wrong.

Life's rich tapestry and all that ...

Posted by: HughC at September 4, 2007 11:10 PM

Hi Hugh

I signed up as soon as you sent me the invite and my gmail mail list got commandeered by these, sad to say, less than honorable people. I forgot to do my usual due diligence.

Here's my letter to one of their management types and sorry in advance for a long note:


I was invited by a blogging acquaintance, Hugh MacLeod to join your site.

Sadly I did without doing proper due diligence and the iDate owners, marketing geniuses and your software designers, a bunch of bottom feeders-let me be polite and not express my feelings, have serious screwed me over either intentionally or inadvertently. First of all I assumed it was some sort of a social networking site and Quechup turned out to be another spam engine. The fact that I was asked a bunch of personal details should have set off alarm bells but having worked non-stop for 18+ hours I signed on.

I signed up as a heterosexual and most heteros typically would like to meet a WOMAN, unless you play for both teams, which I don't. So why the heck would you all send it to my entire freaking gmail email list where I have all my professional/business colleagues. And you did not seek my permission either.

This is absolutely unacceptable and if you do not remove my name from your membership rolls and DELETE ALL MY contacts I will inform (whether or not they pay any attention to my email) all the major web 2.0 software review sites including Techcrunch, Gigaom and other even more nastier review sites - its your call. I will do this by
Friday Sept 7th unless you do as I ask and send me mail to confirm that you have deleted my name and my gmail contacts from your database.

Gary Valan"

Posted by: Gary Valan at September 7, 2007 7:53 AM