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Spam: What's spam?

What's spam? According to The Free Dictionary, spam is "A trademark used for a canned meat product consisting primarily of chopped pork pressed into a loaf."

But now, with today's advanced technology, it's also a term referring to "the use of electronic messaging systems (including most broadcast media, digital delivery systems) to send unsolicited bulk messages indiscriminately. While the most widely recognized form of spam is e-mail spam, the term is applied to similar abuses in other media: instant messaging spam, Usenet newsgroup spam, Web search engine spam, spam in blogs, wiki spam, online classified ads spam, mobile phone messaging spam, Internet forum spam, junk fax transmissions, social networking spam, television advertising and file sharing network spam."

"Spamming remains economically viable because advertisers have no operating costs beyond the management of their mailing lists, and it is difficult to hold senders accountable for their mass mailings. Because the barrier to entry is so low, spammers are numerous, and the volume of unsolicited mail has become very high. In the year 2011 the estimated figure for spam messages are around seven trillion. The costs, such as lost productivity and fraud, are borne by the public and by Internet service providers, which have been forced to add extra capacity to cope with the deluge. Spamming has been the subject of legislation in many jurisdictions." Source: Wikipedia

"Spam" as in the heading of this discussion, refers to the second definition.

How does this affect the way we surf Facebook? How do we protect ourselves from spammers, and what should we do when we've been spammed?

Lately, I've been tagged in many photos, most of which are irrelevant to me and my lifestyle. When I first joined Facebook it wasn't like this: people tagged only their own family members in their photo albums. This was when the purpose of Facebook was to connect and re-connect with relatives -including the ones we weren't even aware we had. Soon, though, we got tired of hoping that our close and dear friends would happen to stumble on their own upon our pictures from our latest Disney trip, so we decided to put their names on the album tag list, as well. When I was first tagged this way -back in the days of Facebook innocence (or, perhaps, ignorance)- I was utterly confused when I followed the notification to the photo and found that it was about my friend and her family. -"Why have I been tagged?" I wondered. I didn't ask, but soon thereafter -having been tagged by numerous other friends, all inviting me in to view the cherished moments of their personal lives- I began to grasp the logic of being tagged. -Phew!!! It's nice to have friends who are in some way smarter and quicker than you, who love you!

Now, the business aspect of tagging has taken over. Facebook naturally wants business owners to advertise on its absurdly large network. I, myself, have pay-per-click ads for our voice teaching studio, Core Melody. I am also one of the administrators of the La CoffeeMelodie Suite fan page, and there I upload photos and posters that have designated links in the captions so that people have easy access to visit any particular section on my Website. I don't, however, "force" my "friends" to see my advertisements by means of tagging. It's enough to put up both a fan page and personal status (already plural in Latin!) updates and links. But fan pages and groups are free, and a lot of people think, "Why not take every little opportunity -by means of tagging- to get my brand names out to my 'friends.' "

Regrettably, most of the photos, pictures and posters in which I am now tagged are advertisements for dishonest businesses. I 've been spammed daily by a bunch of too-good-to-be-true ads. Thank you for thinking of me, but no, I don't believe that anyone could make $5,000 - $10,000 a day by DOING NOTHING. And, although I'd like to shed some pounds, I don't want to lose 20 pounds -and I certainly don't believe that it could be 20 pounds of PURE FAT- in one week. I am also not interested in seeing naked women and men on the videos in which I am tagged. The URLs in the captions and descriptions most likely will take you to bad Web sites. Have you ever experienced an explosion of spam in your email inbox, minutes after your casual or accidental visit to some sites? Do you wonder how your inbox could be filled with fifty spam emails without your ever having given out your email address? -Try to keep your curiosity under a lid and do not click on these URLs.

What should you do when this happens to you?

Remove yourself from the tag. If the same person repeats the action more times than you care to endure, move him off your friend list. And, if stronger measures are needed, block the person, or report him to Facebook and then block him. Someone who treats you this way is not worthy to be your friend -or even your accquaintance.

But be mindful, and use your commonsense, because not all tags and URLs are of evil intent. You may also have a friend who simply does things differently than you. She may annoy you in various degrees: but ask yourself if she means harm or is just plain -uh- innocent. Once you decide on the answer then act accordingly.

Enjoy socializing on Facebook and other social networks, but socialize sensibly and always with an open-eye.


La CoffeeMelodie Suite

About us

We are an American father who has lived many years in Thailand, a Thai mother who has lived many years in the United States, and four children- the eldest born in America- who spent the first parts of their lives in Thailand and then moved to the USA. This multiculturalism provides a unique perspective and affords each of us the opportunity to approach things from new directions.

We follow our hearts wherever they take us. We also believe in sharing. If another is enriched then so, too, are we, for the betterment of one is the betterment of us all. We share our ideas, thoughts, knowledge and opinions with the hope that others will find value in them, as well as in the hope that they will pay it forward to make the world a continually better place.

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