Quechup: stay clear of Anti-Social Networking

You’ve all heard of social networking sites, stuff like MySpace, LinkedIn, FaceBook, and all that ilk. But what you may not have been aware is that there is now an anti-social networking site too, called Quechup.

Of course, it’s billed like a standard social networking site — the strap line is:

Quechup.com — Meet People, Make Friends, SocializeQuechup

…but their policies for attracting new people to their site put them in a category I’d term spammers.

And that’s what makes them an anti-social networking site.

For example, someone I know through the my accessibility stuff is called Rosie Sherry, and I got an email from her, inviting me to join her as a friend on Quechup. That’s nice, I thought, it’s not really my cup of tea because these things tend to be walled gardens and like Popeye, I am what I am over here on ThePickards, and don’t tend to feel the need to join in anywhere else.

However, when I got back from work later that day, I had a second email from Rosie, this one exhorting everyone not to join Quechup, because they had spammed her entire gmail address book inviting people to join. I was annoyed for her, and also slightly disappointed (as it turned out she didn’t want me to be her friend after all sniff). You can let Rosie tell you about it herself.

I wasn’t annoyed with Rosie, because at first glance Quechup appears to be a perfectly reasonable social networking site (if with a slightly crap name), and as these appear to be springing up at the rate of one every five minutes and do much the same thing, you’d expect this one to behave similarly.

Except that it doesn’t, and instead spams everyone in your address book. It turns out Rosie wasn’t the first person this has happened to — a simple search for the word ‘Quechup’ reveals that once you’ve got past the top search result (the site itself), everyone else seems to have something negative to say about them.

Having said that, if you actually read the terms and conditions of the site (I know, no-one does, but that’s the problem), you’d already have noticed a few things:

By posting Content to any public area of Quechup.com, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to Quechup.com an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, fully paid, worldwide license to use, copy, perform, display, and distribute such information and content and to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such information and content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoingQuechup Terms & Conditions

Anything I publish on there becomes jointly owned by them, effectively. They can re-use it as much as they like without my permission. Not something I’d agree to.

This one I particularly like:

You are hereby granted a limited, revocable, and nonexclusive right to create a hyperlink to the home page of Quechup.com so long as the link does not portray any false, misleading, derogatory, or otherwise offensive matter.Quechup Terms & Conditions

Right. So if that right wasn’t granted, I wouldn’t be able to link, would I? Well, here’s the BBC. Look: they’ve not explicitly granted me a the right to link to them, and I’ve done it anyway. You can’t “grant” someone the right to do something that they were perfectly entitled to do in the first place.

Similarly, if I’d wanted to link to Quechup and say that they are behaving like spammers, I would. I don’t want to because I don’t want to help their link rankings, but I’ve publicly called people spammers before, and I’ve been threatened with legal action and, guess what? Nothing happened.

My betting is that because it’s a bit hard to successfully sue someone for slander/libel when they are making truthful statements that are in the public interest. Otherwise TV programmes like Watchdog would have a hell of a time getting anywhere…

In short, if you act like a spammer, you’ll get treated like one, and there’s no-one else to blame but yourself.

3 Responses to “Quechup: stay clear of Anti-Social Networking”

  1. Steve responds:

    Similar thing happened to me when I was asked to join Quechup by another blogger who then sent a follow up email to apologise.
    I’m sick of social networking. Everyone I know seems to be on Facebook these days. Just get a humble blog I tell them.

  2. Mike Cherim responds:

    Hmm. That’s bad news. I was recently invited to join an accessibility group at another social site, MyFrappr I think. The invite came from some one I knew, but I wonder if it was the same thing. I don’t go for much of this stuff either. I have my own sites, and Flickr, and Ma.gnolia, and I belong to others too, including Twitter, but who’s got the time for all that.

  3. Vicky responds:

    I prefer to meet people through genuine shared interests; whether I befriend people in a forum or community, or they comment on my blog, or they play games online with me, or whatever. Adding random strangers as “friends” on these so-called social networking websites seems meaningless to me. I mean, why would you want to meet people that way?

    One exception I have to that is a site called the GreatGamesExperiment.com. It’s kind of a networking site, but focuses more on the links between games, gamers, and developers. But it’s actually useful, which is the key difference between it and others like MySpace or Facebook, which are just places to talk extensively about your boring self, and attract sexual predators and MSN perverts. :P

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