back to article DON’T add me to your social network, I have NO IDEA who you are

Alistair Dabbs is away. This column is a repeat publication from back in 2014. Enjoy! Norbert Spankmonkey has invited you to connect. Oh dear, not another one of these mystery invitations. Who the heck is Norbert Spankmonkey? Did we exchange emails perhaps, or cross swords recently on a forum? Could I have met him at that …

  1. Zog_but_not_the_first
    Thumb Up

    Oh yes!

    "Personally, I would derive much more satisfaction if Facebook introduced a “Fuck off and die” button, or a “Stick your pissy little competition up your arse” button on these business homepages."

    Big thumbs up for this idea.

    1. Shadow Systems

      Re: Oh yes!

      I would buy a mouse JUST so I could click that FOAD button like a crazed OCD crack addict playing Cookie Clicker during a speed rush.

    2. king of foo

      Re: Oh yes!

      I've recently been asked to add "like" functionality to our company's salesforce.com deployment. My "fuck off and die" button was just going to be a red cross, but now I'm feeling creative...

      What icon, exactly, best expresses this sentiment?

      1. Captain DaFt

        Re: Oh yes!

        "My "fuck off and die" button was just going to be a red cross, but now I'm feeling creative...

        What icon, exactly, best expresses this sentiment?"

        You'll never get it past your boss, but how about a skull and crossbones icon?

      2. Disko
        Mushroom

        Re: Oh yes!

        There you go.

      3. itzman
        Mushroom

        Re: Oh yes!

        What icon, exactly, best expresses this sentiment?

        Surely the one on this post?

      4. Ben Bonsall

        Re: Oh yes!

        What icon, exactly, best expresses this sentiment?

        Surely it just needs to be a thumbs up icon, with an arse above it?

  2. Phuq Witt
    Devil

    Bit Sneaky. Reprinting That Particular Article During Dabbsy's Absence

    It invites playground style huddled sniggering, as your entire readership conspires to befriend the poor sod on 'Social Meeja', over the next couple of days –while he's lying on a beach somewhere, blissfully unaware.

    Mind you this might be a bit of a stumbling block:

    "...slurring my jokes as I swirled my double JDs..."

    I'm not sure I'd want to be be seen associating with someone who slugs that perfumed yankee piss in preference to real whiskey —even in the name of a practical joke.

    1. Pomgolian

      Re: Bit Sneaky. Reprinting That Particular Article During Dabbsy's Absence

      >real whiskey

      is actually spelt whisky, just so you're sure to be sure.

      1. Tim99 Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Bit Sneaky. Reprinting That Particular Article During Dabbsy's Absence

        @Pomgolian

        A you would be sure to be sure to know, whiskey (irish spelling) is older than whisky (Scottish spelling). American whiskey is later. It seems that Irish monks brought the method of distilllng to Scotland in about the C14th.

        The oldest modern whiskey is probably Bushmills Irish and dates back to 1608.

        The history of Scottish whisky is now lost in the mists of time, but perhaps the oldest of the popular single malts is Smith's Glenlivet which goes back to the 1820s.

        Have a beer, unless you would prefer a proper drink >>===============>

      2. Teiwaz

        Re: Bit Sneaky. Reprinting That Particular Article During Dabbsy's Absence

        > "real whiskey"

        is actually spelt whisky, just so you're sure to be sure."

        Unless it's Irish (which is why american whiskies have the 'e', the irish influence) Although I'm aware 'some' 'people' don't consider the irish whisk[e]ys 'real', but probably more real than JD.

        Re: Article. It's why I stopped going anywhere near linked-in. Too many people trying to connect, like it was a game of pokemon ('poke-men' - gotta collect 'em all). Creepy.

        'to be sure'. (it's why I left Ireland, to get away from the post-sentence re-afirmatives).

    2. Desidero

      Re: Bit Sneaky. Reprinting That Particular Article During Dabbsy's Absence

      William Faulkner was a die-hard fan of Jack Daniels and wrote more erudite and indecipherable prose than James Joyce could even phantasize about. So piss off with that misplaced elitist whiskey zeal and understand it's the hallucinatory experience *PLUS* the smacking of lips & loving slurge down the gullet that leaves us enthralled with whatever we're partaking, and while "your mileage may vary", undoubtedly longer miles still win. (and yes, a guy who writes about taking granny's coffin across miles of flooded back-running tributaries as the corpse rots inside along with the irredeemable ugly cruelty of the Snopes clan is certainly dear to my queer fascinations, along with "A Rose for Emily" which might as well have been the inspiration for Psycho). BTW, Keef the Richards was also seen to sport a fifth or two of JD in his time, and I think he's even beknighted. Stick that in your gramaphone.

      1. itzman
        Headmaster

        Re: Bit Sneaky. Reprinting That Particular Article During Dabbsy's Absence

        Gramophone IIRC....

        1. Desidero

          Re: Bit Sneaky. Reprinting That Particular Article During Dabbsy's Absence

          Gramaphone as in Grandma/Grams - you gotta get the southern vibe just to go there. but don't worry, she can drink you under the table with corn whiskey while cobbling up a nice helping of cobbler. Put that in your corn cob pipe.

      2. disgruntled yank Silver badge

        Re: Bit Sneaky. Reprinting That Particular Article During Dabbsy's Absence

        Indecipherable, yes, if one ignores Finnegans Wake. Erudite, well maybe on matters involving the American Civil War.

        I am not a whiske?y snob, seldom a whiske{0,1}y drinker. But it seems to me that one would honor Faulkner's memory better with the illegally distilled white mule version.

        1. Desidero

          Re: Bit Sneaky. Reprinting That Particular Article During Dabbsy's Absence

          Oh, we can do that as well - start with the gut rot and move to the rotgut - put a little shine on the complexion.

  3. JohnnyGStrings

    deleted after reading sentence properly ;)

  4. Christine Munro

    People you may know, or know of, or something

    Curiously enough, LinkedIn keeps listing Dabbsy as someone I may know for reasons known only to itself. Unless I nosily looked at his profile once and forgot about it: I may have forgotten, but the social networking sites remember. Forever. eek.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: People you may know, or know of, or something

      the social networking sites remember. Forever. eek.

      Yup. Finally found something I wouldn't mind a right to be forgotten for, and the holder thereof is in the US. Figures.

      What got me off LinkedIn pretty quickly was exactly the realisation that their recommendations of whom I ought to connect with were *far* too accurate, which suggested they were drawing intelligence about me from other sources than me (aka profiling using 3rd party data).

      I am not *at all* interested in LinkedIn. It's a massive risk as far as I'm concerned.

      1. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: People you may know, or know of, or something

        They ask everyone for their email password and use it to look through their emails and address book, so if you are in their address book, or if you have exchanged emails with them, then they know that you know them.

        1. heyrick Silver badge
          WTF?

          Re: People you may know, or know of, or something

          "They ask everyone for their email password"

          Whoa, wait, people are actually stupid enough to provide it?!?!

        2. Ken 16

          Re: People you may know, or know of, or something

          While not disagreeing with your sentiment, in the interest of accuracy, it requests people provide their contact lists via a web authentication with their email provider, using the APIs from MS, Google, etc. LinkedIn itself doesn't learn your password.

          1. jonathanb Silver badge

            Re: People you may know, or know of, or something

            I quite often get LinkedIn requests to my work email address shortly after emailing someone, and my LinkedIn account is registered to a personal email address.

            Also, I don't think there is an API for Exchange Autodiscover, which is one of the options, I think they actually take the password and log in with it.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: People you may know, or know of, or something

            in the interest of accuracy, it requests people provide their contact lists via a web authentication with their email provider, using the APIs from MS, Google, etc. LinkedIn itself doesn't learn your password.

            Seriously? You're providing a US based company with the keys to your personal live and you honestly believe they won't take advantage of it? For starters, you won't be able to tell if they do or don't.

            You may want to avoid using the Interwebs until your naïvety has worn off a bit.

        3. DiViDeD Silver badge

          Re: People you may know, or know of, or something

          "They ask everyone for their email password.."

          But you don't have to give it to them.

          Of course, it means every time you fire it up you get the "Hey buddy, you seem to have forgotten to give us permission to trawl through your contact list" nag screen, but that's a smallprice for not alienating everyone you know when LinkdIn start sending them spam with your name on.

        4. Schlimnitz

          Re: People you may know, or know of, or something

          But if you're being absent minded, it can look like you're just logging in to LinkedIn.

          Happened to me - given that my email address was my linked-in login, I just thought it had timed-out my cookie, so dumbly typed in my password. Fortunately my LinkedIn password and email password are different, so after trying the LinkedIn password several times and getting refused I actually re-read the blurb and discovered the scam.

          It's a bit like those download sights where the 'download crap' button is big than the teeny-tiny link to download the thing you came for. Or the '10 things you wish you...' sites where the real next button looks less like a next button than the 'click here to see another list of crap from our sponsors' button.

  5. Trollslayer
    Thumb Down

    Plus the idiots and fakers

    Idiots - someone who has become infamous for stupid pipe dreams in areas such as optical computing with a website that is only missing rainbows and animated My Little Ponies who keeps pushing back the closing date for Q1 funding and hasn't opened the office at the address shown yet.

    Fakers - someone setting up a one man band with an SURPRISINGLY similar name to a large US recruitment agency.

  6. Dr_N Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    "Hank Waggenburger III wants to connect with you via Buttplugg! "

    Thank you!

    1. Hank Waggenburger III

      Re: "Hank Waggenburger III wants to connect with you via Buttplugg! "

      Thank you!

      No, thank you

      --

      Hank Waggenburger III

      connect with me via Buttplugg!

  7. heyrick Silver badge

    Nobody is immune...

    I had messages from LinkedIn inviting me to link in with random people who had non-western European names, people I'd never heard of before.

    I contacted LinkedIn to ask them to stop this. Their reply was that I could manage whether or not I receive notifications...by registering and editing my profile. So I need to register with a site I have no interest in to stop them spamming me?

    I had an easier solution. My mail server now bounces everything from LinkedIn to abuse@linkedin.com.

    1. gerdesj Silver badge

      Re: Nobody is immune...

      As you run your own mail server you might like to consider slowing down SMTP sessions with certain systems that finishes with a perpetual greylisting before DATA starts.

      Here's their SPF record to get you started:

      linkedin.com. 2327 IN TXT "v=spf1 ip4:199.101.162.0/25 ip4:108.174.3.0/24 ip4:108.174.6.0/24 ip6:2620:109:c00d:104::/64 ip6:2620:109:c006:104::/64 ip6:2620:109:c003:104::/64 ip4:216.136.162.65 ip4:199.101.161.130 mx mx:docusign.net ~all"

      Note the inclusion of docusign.net and MX records though. Also they are too chicken to -all instead of ~all.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nobody is immune...

      I had an easier solution. My mail server now bounces everything from LinkedIn to abuse@linkedin.com.

      In a past incarnation, I did something similar..though not to Linkedin (similar type idiots, though).

      We were a 'high value' target as far as their dirty little scheme was concerned (Oxbridge and Ivy League graduates galore), so they were persistent.

      Initially, they targeted the publicly visible user.or.function@our.address, so I responded with the usual cease and desist to their abuse@address, didn't work, then started bouncing the stuff to both abuse@spammers and postmaster@spammers.

      I found after a couple of weeks there was still no change, assumed the abuse@spammers was probably /dev/nulled, so, one boozy Friday betwixt pub and home I had a beerwave so back to the office, a fruitful hour or so trawling the web, a session of RCPT TO'ing their server (SBS box dangling on a USian DSL line) to confirm live targets and one new exim rule later meant that the bounced email went to every identifiable employee/owner email address in the offending company, CEO downwards, committed the changes, went for a curry then promptly forgot about it.

      Fast forward a month or so, they ran a massive mailshot using one of those purloined mailing lists, to all 1600 user@our.address (How the 1600 names escaped into the wilds is another story).

      Now as each email in generated 30 emails out, and we were receiving them at a rate of three-four mailshots a day...It lasted a fortnight (oh, how I laughed when I spotted this in the logs), then there was no more junk from them again.ever.

      Not that I advocate the use of such irresponsible behaviour...I blame the blessed influence of large amounts of 6x for leading me astray that night..

      1. Shadow Systems

        @A.C. re email rules.

        I sent it to the spammer's UpStream Provider (USP) instead.

        It generally takes about 2~3 days worth of the USP getting flooded to get the offender stomped on, & then the spam stops, at least from them.

        It's even funnier when folks try to sign you up for stuff to get you email-flooded with spam, but none of it ever reaches your in box because Gmail correctly shunts it all into the Spam folder. Since I only check it maybe once a week, it's amazing how many pages of emails turn out to originate from the same set of IP's. Which then gets turned into an email rule to auto-forward to the USP, and kills that avenue of spam. Sure the twits find new places to subscribe you, but those sites tend to use the same/similar data in the headers... which gets an email rule, auto-forwarded to USP, spam killed.

        It's like playing Whack-A-Mole but with a hammer that kills off hundreds at a stroke.

        *Moons the spammers & spanks myself at them in taunting derrision*

        =-)p

    3. John Tserkezis

      Re: Nobody is immune...

      "My mail server now bounces everything from LinkedIn to abuse@linkedin.com."

      You know they don't actually pay attention to it. Kinda like the non-functional "Close Door" button on some lifts. It's just there to give you a warm and fuzzy feeling. Kinda like they care - but really don't.

    4. itzman

      Re: Nobody is immune...

      My mail server now bounces everything from LinkedIn to abuse@linkedin.com.

      I like it.. hmm I could do something similar here.

  8. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "Friday-afternoon El Reg columnists."

    s/Friday-afternoon/Saturday-morning/

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Alistair Dabbs is away."

    Where did you put him?

  10. Terry 6 Silver badge

    my double JDs.

    At least this time around I have seen a post that tells me what the JDs are.

    I had wondered what I might have been missing. (Nothing apparently. Glenkinchie every time).

  11. mhoulden
    Mushroom

    Personally I'd quite like an option on Linkedin that says "You may not attempt to contact this person by Linkedin, email, phoning his employer's switchboard, carrier pigeon, semaphore, Morse code or any other means of communication invented now or in the future if you are a recruitment consultant trying to earn commission on a job that you can't fill. If you do, you will forfeit your first-born child, be forced to walk down the street ringing a bell and wearing a sign that says 'Unclean - recruitment pimp', and be required to hand over all the commission you have made to the people that you have recruited". Even though I've made it clear on my profile that I'm not looking for a job, some of them still contact me just in case.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Linkedin?

      Just tell them what to do with their SPAM and everything else.

      I've just about had enough with all this crap coming from them (I had a LinkedIn login for about 6 hours), Facebork , Skype and everyone else.

      There is no way in hell that I will ever sing up for any site like LinkedIn, FB, Twitter etc.

      So I'm a social media outcast. That's ok with me. I like to talk to my friends face to face.

  12. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. phuzz Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Even if you manage to teach some kid to *ring* his girlfriend, what's the odds that she knows what an incoming call is and how to deal with it?

      I see enough people wandering down the street having conversations by holding the phone directly in front of their face to speak, and then moving it next to their ear to listen.

      1. Captain Hogwash
        Coat

        Ringing birds is best left to the RSPB.

  13. Lee D

    I can't stand LinkedIn. It's like Facebook, but for you and your boss and future bosses. Why the hell would you sign up for that?

    I have an entry, but it's there just to shut people up when they do the "Oh, you can find me on LinkedIn, are you on there?". Yeah. I'm there. With about a line of text and email notifications disabled. Past, current and future workplaces are not on there.

    Strangely, I still get this junk. People add me because they think that will help them sell to me (nope). They add me because I work with them (you're THERE... just down the corridor... why do I have to add you online? You barely talk to me in real-life!). They add me because... god knows, random spam I assume.

    Facebook, in my opinion, is for friends and family to share info - funny stories, the odd photo, and that link to little Johnny's online game that he wrote for school. LinkedIn... it's like Facebook for Work, but less useful.

    I'm certainly not going to put up a work history on there - I left for a reason and though that reason was often quite amiable, anyone from there that I want to stay in contact with I have elsewhere (usually Facebook!). My current workplace? What's the point of putting people on there? So I can "link in" the people I work with and see every day? And when it comes to jobs, I don't want LinkedIn to be my CV work history. Because it contains none of my past or current workplaces anyway.

    The only people I end up with are those persistent shites of suppliers that won't go away, so you add them to LinkedIn to shut them up. They never contact you from there anyway.

  14. Disko
    FAIL

    Absolutely love the fact

    that we're all commenting on a rerun here.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Absolutely love the fact

        ...And in this case he's nailed an issue that didn't just piss off so many here at the time, but still pisses us off.

        I do look at Linked-in where I have contacts who comment on areas specific to the other (non-IT) parts of my work. And since these are rather specialised Linked-in's range is very useful.

        But I get those requests from all sorts of odd bods who are not working in any field related to what I do, or who do God-knows-what but seem to haunt a section of pages. Often with slightly meaningless management/consultant type titles.

  15. regadpellagru
    Happy

    First article from Dabdy I've read

    And I liked it a lot.

    Thanks El Reg and Dabdy for the re-run !

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: First article from Dabdy I've read

        That's like installing UNIX, then discovering the, 'ls' command after a decade!?

        It happens.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It works the other way too…

    That is, getting invites from "well known" figures. (e.g. The Register authors)

    In my case my reasons for not doing social media are two fold:

    (1) I don't have the time to spend socialising on the computer. Yes, I'm home on the weekends, and I'll spend a bit of time perusing forums and newsgroups, but it's strictly weekends that I spend on this. I make no commitment to spend any time online.

    The comments section on this site is one very rare exception, since the site itself is work related (I keep up on IT news this way). Even there, it'll be a quick browse in the morning when I first get to my desk (5:30~6:00AM) or the occasional glance during the day.

    (2) I see it as an attack vector for phishing. Half the time you can't even verify if the person who is alleged to have sent an invitation/like/circle request/whatever really is who they say they are.

    Hence why I say, don't bother. Plenty of old fashioned ways to contact me, no need for this new breed of bulletin board system.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    LinkedIn is for people worried about their job security

    The only reason to want to be connected to other pricks you don't like is because you think it might help you with getting a job when you get laid off.

    Since the economy is still in the shit, and employers don't give a fuck about firing you, then LinkedIn remains a free insurance policy. The problem is that it doesn't pay out. It's just there for them to gather intel for advertising revenue.

    1. itzman

      Re: LinkedIn is for people worried about their job security

      So linked in is if you are worried about getting laid off, and facebook if you are worried about getting laid?

      Sounds plausible.

      So what is twitter?

      1. Wingtech

        Re: LinkedIn is for people worried about their job security

        So what is twitter?

        If you are worrried about not being on-trend.

        That always assumes you know what that means or even care.

        Personally I think the first letter of Twitter's name is redundant.

        N

  18. Potemkine Silver badge

    "Hank Waggenburger III wants to connect with you via Buttplugg!"

    ROTFLMAO - Still laughing now

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