Spam from Seti@Home ... and I never signed up!

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gravitysmith

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Joined: 9 Mar 06
Posts: 10
Message 14298 - Posted: 14 Dec 2007, 3:15:12 UTC

I just received an email in my inbox from the admins at Seti@Home. The funny thing is that I never signed up for Seti!

At the bottom of the email is a link to opt-out, which has a user id in there. I checked the Seti site, and apparently I do have an account there. I don't know the password since I never actually signed up, but an account with my username and email exists!

What follows next is my best hypothesis about how this came to be. I am the captain of a team. It is a team of one, but it keeps the spam down from those trying to recruit new members. Anyhow, I saw a news item a while back that said I could register my team through this BOINC site and then it would be automatically registered with any new projects. I am fond of my team name, and would hate for it to be associated with someone else, so I registered. The evidence that this registration is the cause of my phantom account is that my team name is also registered at Seti and my phantom account is listed as the leader of the team.

So what should be done? Well, this spam thing is too much! There is a reason I never explicitely signed up at Seti. The project doesn't interest me. This means that ANY message is unwanted. I can understand the need for a team to have a leader, and in hindsight realize that account creation is the easiest (and most straight-forward) way to set up a team. I would prefer not to have a Seti account associated with my username, but there is no option to cancel an account, so I am stuck.

My recommendations for change are:

  • Make email messages opt-in. This simple act would have saved me a lot of aggravation with spam (and will prevent future annoyance).
  • Allow people to cancel accounts. Why waste database resources with unwanted and unused accounts? Plus it gives inaccurate counts on the stats sites. It would also make me happy to remove my phantom account.


If I knew how to fix this myself, I would. It is frustrating to get spam. Correcting the items above would go a long way to solving this problem and preventing other similar oversights.

In the end I almost have to laugh as all this is actually quite ironic. Part of my motivation for creating a team is to avoid spam from recruiters, but by creating a team I end up with spam from the admins of a project I never joined! Please tell me ... when does this BOINC stuff become fun again?

gravitysmith

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Nicolas

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Joined: 19 Jan 07
Posts: 1179
Argentina
Message 14300 - Posted: 14 Dec 2007, 3:34:35 UTC - in response to Message 14298.  

Well... if you create a BOINC-wide team, it gets created on all projects. For that to happen, the founder's account needs to be created too. It can't be any other way. If you don't like that, don't make a BOINC-wide team.

However, since you never explicitly created the account, it's wrong for the newsletter checkbox to be on by default! I'll point the devs to this thread tomorrow.

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Nicolas

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Posts: 1179
Argentina
Message 14301 - Posted: 14 Dec 2007, 3:36:09 UTC - in response to Message 14298.  

Also,
Plus it gives inaccurate counts on the stats sites.

stats sites usually don't list/count users with 0 credits.
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gravitysmith

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Posts: 10
Message 14303 - Posted: 14 Dec 2007, 12:21:29 UTC - in response to Message 14300.  


Thank you Nicholas. I hadn't thought about the automatic account creation when I created a BOINC-wide team, but it makes sense in retrospect. I have deleted the team from the BOINC-wide list. Hopefully the email address hasn't propagated too far. Now if only I could delete the phantom accounts .....

gravitysmith
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zombie67
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Joined: 14 Feb 06
Posts: 136
United States
Message 14306 - Posted: 14 Dec 2007, 14:02:20 UTC - in response to Message 14300.  

However, since you never explicitly created the account, it's wrong for the newsletter checkbox to be on by default! I'll point the devs to this thread tomorrow.


True, however, I *do* want to be notified by email when my team & user account is created on a new project.
Reno, NV
Team: SETI.USA
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Profile adrianxw
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Joined: 2 Oct 05
Posts: 350
Denmark
Message 14342 - Posted: 15 Dec 2007, 19:44:25 UTC

True, however, I *do* want to be notified by email when my team & user account is created on a new project.

I would as well.
Wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity into the dream.
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Pepo
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Joined: 3 Apr 06
Posts: 547
Slovakia
Message 14363 - Posted: 16 Dec 2007, 22:25:16 UTC - in response to Message 14342.  

True, however, I *do* want to be notified by email when my team & user account is created on a new project.

I would as well.

Me too, but that's another problem. BOINC-wide team account should take this wish into account (am I repeating myself inside of one sentence?) and offer such checkbox. If anything should be notified, then the new project creation in the first place. Any newsletters (like the mentioned Seti SPAM) should require other additional checkboxes.

I think it is (or, has been and hopefully will be) already being talked about on the Boinc email lists (especially the technical aspects of how to securely use the founder's email address).

Peter
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Message boards : Web interfaces : Spam from Seti@Home ... and I never signed up!

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