You might remember Tagged, the social networking site that got into a bit of trouble for a sleazy marketing process: when you signed up for it, it automatically spammed everyone on your entire contact list with emails falsely telling them that you had sent them a message or pictures and that they needed to sign up to see. If they bit and signed up for Tagged, their list would get spammed, and so on.
Tagged has now agreed to pay a relative pittance — $650,000 — to settle an investigation by the San Francisco District Attorney's Office into that dishonest practice. That's merely the cost of doing business on Web 2.0.
Think that Tagged and its marketers are repentant? Think again. Here's how Greg Tseng, Tagged co-founder, describes the payment and the conduct it addressed:
Nearly 10 months ago, as part of a membership-recruitment drive, millions of Tagged members invited their friends to join our community. A majority of those invited either joined or declined without complaint. However, a small but vocal minority expressed that we were too ambitious in our recruitment efforts. Accordingly, we voluntarily ceased the membership drive before being contacted by the press or any governmental authority. Nonetheless, the campaign attracted the attention of San Francisco’s District Attorney Kamala Harris.
Note: emphasis added; dishonesty, spammer self-righteousness and pathological entitlement in original.
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