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Forget Google, Now MyBlogLog Adds Friends without Your Consent

Yeah, okay, I’m still mad at Google for adding every single person I’ve ever emailed to my “friends” list. But lately worse things have been happening to me over at MyBlogLog (remember them?).

I know, I know, MBL has long since fallen out of favor with tech & SEM bloggers. I’d forgotten about them, too, other than the occasional “So and so has added you as a contact” e-mails.

Until the end of May, when I got one of these e-mails that stood out. It stood out because there were two emails in the conversation—the first, the usual “Check it! [user name] has made you a contact on MyBlogLog.” The second e-mail, sent one minute later, read “Check it! [user name] has returned the favor and added you to their contact list on MyBlogLog. Click below to visit their profile.”

I logged in to MyBlogLog (and was reminded that they finally integrated with Yahoo—yeah, it had been a while), and sure enough, this particular user was listed as one of my friends. I deleted the user as a friend and shot off a report to the support team.

Over the next twelve hours, I received three more “[user] has returned the favor and added you to their contact list on MyBlogLog” e-mails, which I added to the support ticket (and finally blocked the user). The user was not actually added to my friend list after any of the later e-mails.

After a few days, the final answer I received was that it “Sounds like MyBlogLog message servers might have had a hiccup. It should be all jet set now! Let us know if it happens again :) .” I was never exactly clear on how the message servers would have added this person to my friends list, but whatever.

Now, I know that’s not news. Everybody has glitches. But a week later, it did happen again. I filed another support ticket. Meanwhile, I deleted the person from my contacts and received five more “[user] has returned the favor and added you” confirmation e-mails.

Two days after filing the ticket, I received this reply from MBL:

We have forwarded the information you have supplied to us to our topnotch engineering department for further review and investigation. If it’s possible to fix this problem, rest assured they’ll do it, or at least find a clever work around. (They pride themselves as master troubleshooters.)

After this message, I stopped receiving the “user has returned the favor” e-mail.

For a while. In the last 24 hours, I’ve received two more of these exchanges from two more users. Apparently the engineering department never did figure out what was wrong.

There was a good reason why most tech and tech-savvy bloggers lost interest in the service so quickly: there just wasn’t enough value added. If MBL insists on making social matches for me, I’m going to have to leave the site, if only because I’m getting tired of the spam filling my inbox.

So you tell me: have some people just hacked MyBlogLog or is MyBlogLog having serious “server hiccups”?

  • http://www.otlacan.com Otilia Otlacan

    Jordan, I had the same happening to me a number of times over the past week, with contacts added without permission – I haven’t escalated yet, my mistake. MyBlogLog is a tool I use daily and I found it to be quite useful, it would be a pity if security and privacy issues will ruin the fun. Seems like Yahoo takes hit after hit these days…

    Otilia Otlacan’s last blog post..New Features and Improvements in Google AdManager

  • http://www.seopositive.com Seo Positive

    Sounds to me like you are having some major server hiccups there. I agree with the huge amounts of spam too from experience.

  • http://mybloglogb.typepapd.com Ian Kennedy

    Hi Jordon,

    I’m so sorry you are still getting un-prompted contact emails. If they are from the same member that you reported was sending you email a few weeks ago, I just checked and confirmed that they *are not* on your Block List.

    http://www.mybloglog.com/buzz/members/mem_hidelist.php

    Go to the last message that you received and Click on [Report Spam] to add them to your Block List and you should never get an email or friend request from them again.

    Ian
    Product Guy, MyBlogLog

  • Jordan McCollum

    @Ian—Thanks for your comment. I have only blocked the first of the four users that this has happened with. I hesitate to use their user names because at this point I don’t know whether they’ve hacked MBL and are exploiting it or whether it’s an internal problem with MBL.

  • http://mybloglogb.typepapd.com Ian Kennedy

    Correction – the person you were reporting before *is* on your Block List. If you are still getting friend requests from this person, please let me know because we are unable to reproduce what is obviously a bug.

    We had tested and confirmed a fix, obviously this isn’t the case!

    Ian

  • http://www.netage.co.za Goran Web Design

    Privacy is something that cannot be taken for granted, its one way to ruin a brand.

  • Jordan McCollum

    @Ian—I’m not receiving friend requests from the first person anymore. I received a total of seven emails about the second person.

    But the problem here is that they’re automatically being added to my friends list without my consent. I’m not very happy about receiving notifications that I’ve added a friend when I haven’t.

  • http://mp3leben.com Tiffany

    I can imagine how annoying that was. I think MBL has server hiccups problems instead of being hacked.

  • http://www.poems.md Ashley

    I think MBL should pay more attention to their tech equipment and have a sufficient tech customer service, otherwise the majority of its users will refuse to use it

  • http://www.greatpriceshere.com Nicole Price

    Actually, I have been seeing some sudden activity from the MBL. They had been quite quiet for sometime and may be their sudden inspiration after the recent seismic activity they have become active!

    Nicole Price’s last blog post..Bill Gates: Dethroned!

  • http://www.futurefactory-software.com Warenwirtschaft

    It is a common problem that you file a complaint and get an answer to a problem you didnt complain about. Customer-Care-People just dont read the text anymore, they just look for an easy answer that MAY have a connection to the problem. Then they fire it off. Problem solved. Next question.

  • http://www.exposedseo.com/ Mr Marketing

    Im surprised MBL even got this far. Did not they always have these problems?

    Mr Marketing’s last blog post..The website is down!

  • http://payperclickjournal.com Pay Per Click Journal

    Wow this is crazy. I too am surprised that they have made it this far. They must be loosing users since the are “having tech issues”.

    Pay Per Click Journal’s last blog post..SEO moz – Website Marketing Tool Product Review

  • http://www.gadgets4nowt.co.uk PS3

    If the exploit (if that what it is) get’s into the wild, the place will be full of spammers in no time at all. Sounds more than just a “bug”?

  • http://www.jordankasteler.com/utah-seo-pro-blog/ Utah SEO Pro

    That’s a spammers dream come true.

    Utah SEO Pro’s last blog post..Interview with SEO: Brian Carter and Search Engine Journal Post

  • http://www.carolinapanthersblog.org Carolina Panthers Blog

    I agree with the comment above. These “tech issues” are getting out of hand.

    Carolina Panthers Blog’s last blog post..Position Analysis: Center

  • http://bestyogaworkout.com Beginner Yoga Exercises

    Sounds like the customer service is sending you a message to be able to close out the ticket without actually solving the problem.