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January 31, 2004

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Insecurity at Orkut:

» why Orkut makes people insecure from apophenia
I was talking to a friend about my Orkut rant. Orkut really bothered him and he was trying to tease out why. He knew that it bothered him more than Friendster and it wasn't simply because it was Google. In fact, he really likes Google. As far as he cou... [Read More]

» Christopher Allen Sebastien Paquet in Orkut Jail from Joho the Blog
Christopher Allen Sebastien writes about how he got locked out of Orkut, possibly by alerting people to what he thought was a security hole (which turned out to be a UI defect). He shared a cell with Marc Canter. On the must-read list about Orkut: Dana... [Read More]

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I've been meaning to write about this for days, and haven't had a spare moment. Here's what some other people... [Read More]

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Aclaraba edmz hace unos días que "Orkut no ofrece premio alguno a aquel que logre agregar a más personas a su lista de amigos". Lo cierto es que es más bien lo contario, nos castiga: la polémica Orku jail ya... [Read More]

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Comments

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Jonas M Luster

The only reason why I'd seen other people in jail was because they had added too many friends too fast.

There is no basis in this assumption other than, maybe, a little hubris. The constant repetition of this unfounded claim speaks volumes about the research and professionalism of those perpetuating it. Marc, at least, had a question mark after that sentence.

Fact is, some people have been "jail"-ed for violating the Orkut TOS, namely the posting of images of children or nude photography. One person I know of has been suspended for posting copyrighted images. Now, one may think that the limitations are overly stupid and should be changed, but as it stands a look at Marc's profile shows, that he has been most likely suspended for the images of his children. I think is is safer to assume, he has been "jailed" for violating the TOS, than for having too many "friends".

Christopher Allen

Hmm, nothing in the message said anything about TOS. In fact, I later received an email from Orkut saying "Your account was blocked by the system automatically. The block is temporary. Your account should be fine now. I apologize for the inconvenience."

I still don't know why I was in "jail" last night, and in fact, now I'm in "jail" again late today, so I can only assume that it is because I sent another email to "friends of friends" as that is the only common event between last night and today.

If they use the "jail" for TOS as well as for slowing down people like Marc and I, then I think that is a big mistake to use the same name for both purposes.

Jonas M Luster

What is your proof for the "slowing down" of Marc?
His assertions aside, Marc is by far not the most prolific linker, and has not been adding friends as fast as some others, who are neither in Jail nor suspended. Other, much less prolific linkers, have been suspended, all of which share the fact that their actions (the posting of children pics) violated an admittedly stupid TOS provision. At this point, it's Marc's assumption ("they don't like me, because I link a lot of people") against a trend in suspensions that is closely related to what images have been posted.

sean bonner

I too am concerned about a lot of things regarding Orkut, and working on a post of my own about it. But, just to contribute to this, I've sent two messages to friends of friends and haven't been in Jail or anything yet.

dreww

Later I find out by looking at other people's information that this is all completely public. It isn't limited to just friends, or friends of friends, but instead is prominent. In fact, other then your name and how many "friends" you have, your relationship style is the most prominent thing listed.

That I'd like to see more "progressive disclosure" where there was more granularity of what was revealed at public, friends of friends, friends, fans, fans who I've endorsed, etc.

There's quite a bit of granularity already, since launch, which you continue to ignore. Every one of your hypothetically incomfortable tidbits of information are filterable by social distance, that is, yourself, friends, friends of friends, everyone. And I can only expect that you will be able to filter by karma/fan, since that would be one of the only primary benefits to the end user of the karma system.

I'm not sure what you mean by "XML hole". Perhaps you meant XSS? To my knowledge, the precise reasoning for Orkut's shutdown has not been revealed, but judging by what I've noticed has changed, it seems like they took it down to remove the ability of users to broadcast messages to the everyone on the site. The reply-to-all button is gone, and you can no longer send a message to a saved search.

I can think of more applicable (and offensive) words for the orkut-bashing chicken-littles than "unseemly".

Trash Averse

I don't like that it's not easy to opt out. I've already had to delete a flame from my "scrapbook" and I could see how this could turn ugly quickly. Without an opt-out I don't see how I have any way of getting out of there quickly if there's a problem. Maybe what they need is a way for me to put myself in jail for a period of time.

Sherri

I've joined a few social networks, revealing things about myself that I don't mind if everyone reads. Things I don't want 'everyone' to know, I don't add to these networks.

I also choose my communities/tribes/groups knowing everyone will be able to see my interests, and have avoided joining some I considered interesting but don't want linked to my profile.

I use disposable email addresses for social groups; when weaknesses are found, I'm not disturbed by it. I think others might be though, because they might reveal more about themselves that what I did. I've changed my settings to not expose my address to everyone (I think, there's a lot of places to check).

I think it's good that weaknesses are exposed, even publicly. Not picking on any particular network, but if a person found a weakness in it, and reported it to them, there's a chance it would be missed/overlooked/ignored.

Perhaps there are some that would take a reported weakness about their network very seriously, probably not as many though.

So by making the weaknesses public, I think it puts a fire under the developers to patch the hole. Would Orkut's hole have been patched as quickly as it was if the persons that found the hole had reported it to them instead of publicly? Maybe, maybe not.

If a network does take immediate measures to patch holes as soon as they're reported, I'd think it would be nice to give them advance notification before going public with the breach. But I'm pessimistic about this, and think it probably takes threat of bad publicity to get some networks to patch.

Keep up the good works; your blog is very interesting, and I've subbed your RSS in my Bloglines.

Jose Luis Orihuela

I also felt insecure about Orkut, I went to jail maybe because of too many friends in short time (281), but I did not receive any explanation, do not know when the jail will be open and do not know why and when it could be closed again.
http://www.orkut.com/Profile.aspx?uid=13086236090759842440

bardia

Regarding your perfect vision of a social networking service: I guess one could say there maybe other features that someone else might like and visa versa. So, maybe the perfect service would allow you to pick and choose from a menu of features and services.

CamilA

hey...invite me to orkut...ive been trying to find someone whos a member so thell invite me...but ur the onlyone i know
thanx!

CbiMerrow

I realize this is kind of late to respond... But Every bit of information other than your name is pretty much optional. You only have to tell Orkut what you want to tell it, and the visibility of what you tell it is controllable by defining when strangers/friends/etc can see... I'm thinking part of your paranoia is a misunderstanding of how the system works.

Reuven

I got put in Orkut jail! Here's why. I had created a community for those critical of the Macintosh and the mac zealots all ganged up and marked me as bogus user! I sent a fed-ex to Orkut demanding he remove from his system all of the Mac users who abused the "bogus user" button. So far, no reply

Antonio Carlos

please, i just want to know what the word orkut means, etimological or eletronic one.

Marcelo

Al I have to say to is that if you are so unconfortable with Orkut, just get out, and don't be a part of the communite. I'm not trying to defend orkut or something, but I've found a lot o friends that i've not seen for many years and that is the power of orkut.. find or be together friends

I guess that make you unconfortable too... if you don't like don't try to finish with a whole ideia, that in my point of view is very good.

Marcelo

Al I have to say to is that if you are so unconfortable with Orkut, just get out, and don't be a part of the communite. I'm not trying to defend orkut or something, but I've found a lot o friends that i've not seen for many years and that is the power of orkut.. find or be together friends

I guess that make you unconfortable too... if you don't like don't try to finish with a whole ideia, that in my point of view is very good.

Marcelo Vergara

There are other reasons to be in jail. Some people say that people that "spam" a lot go to jail.
There are a link under the photo of any person that anyone can click. That link says report as bougus.
But I realy don´t know...

maliya

plz make me a member of orkut.com plz.....

rafael

Hi... I'd like to ask how Orkut works...
Do i need to be invited to use Orkut??

thanks ... bye ...

rafael

Hi again :) ... People really go to jail because of orkut?!!?

They'r real life is destroyed because a fucking idiot computer program???

if this is true......

Orkut users are a bunch of dumb people who riscs they'r freedom at this idiot program of ""FRIENDS""

thanks.... bye ....

sorry if i offended someone...

:)

amyn

well i dont know if u had experienced this but i found a different hole. i browsed throught friends and friends of friends and went to community search added a community and when i went to create one i found out that somebody in india is owner of it. i hit the home button and here i was at the home page of that indian guy. with all access from changing his profile to terminate his account.

well if i got there somebody can get to mine.

ANZ

Robin Smith

I have been playing around with Orkut a lot in the last 24 hours. One thing I don't understand about these Social Networking Platforms is why they ask for useless information and why they don't ask for the interesting things.

Example: Orkut gives me five large textareas to explain things like what I have learned from my past relationships. It lets me give Karma-Points to Phil Wolff if I think he is sexy. It lets me upload photos of my cat.

But it does not ask me if I have ever met Phil in person. (I have.) It does not ask me for how long I have known him. It does not distuinguish between "friend" and "acquaintance".

It asks "Is xxx your friend?" and I am supposed to give a "thumbs-up" or a "thumbs-down". (And if I say "no" I cannot even add an explanation to that. I hope I haven't hurt anybody.)

I don't get it. It would be so easy to gather this information and it would be so valuable. A simple "have met in person"-flag or something like "How often have you met X?" - "never - once - several times - often - meet regularly" would do it and give so much more depth to the network.

What is it that I am missing? Why is Orkut not gathering more data about the relationships of its members? (Like most of the information it could be optional - I bet many people would share it.) Please enlighten me.

nasir

hi
i wnt to become a member of orkut

tahir

i came across lifewithalacrity a while ago [6:20 pm GMT, Nov 18, 2004] while i was searching for answers regarding 'identity theft' on orkut after suffering a harrowing experince on that social networking site. i've been a member of Orkut for no more than 2 months now. i'm a journalist and work for a satellite tv channel in Pakistan. i have so far added 16 friends to my freind's list on Orkut who r either journalists, or celebrated singers, or tv actors/actresses in my country. this is the first ever social networking forum i've joined primarily becuase i have always had security concerns regarding privacy on other forums and because it was in affiliation with Google, offering a degree of reliability. throughout the time i have been a member of Orkut, i have sufferd loging and access problems on the site. there were times i culd not log into my account at all, or access my messages or access my friends. logging out was especially a major hassle becuase 8 out of 10 times i culdn't log out at the end of a session because when i tried to log out i got a messgae saying that the page i was trying to access was no longer available. i'd try a couple of times and then close the browser window which was always a source of concern becuase i use cablenet connection and remain apprehensive of leaving my account open and vulnerable on the network server if i dont log out. i duly reported all of this to the orket team via emails but all they ever sent me were automated replies telling me that due to the rapid expansion of Orkut these problems wuld come up especially since the software was beta. Today however i got a real shock when i logged into my account at about 1:15 pm GMT. There were horrible messages sent from account to all my freinds [scribbled on their scrapbooks mostly], messages like 'hey guys i am gay' and 'you suck!'. my user name and password to my account are known only to me. i dont knwo how someone got access to my account and sent these messages to all my freinds and made posts in my name on the communities i am a member of.

my first instinct was to remove my account altogether from orkut. but then i thought that this was precisly what the malicious act was meant to do, to intimidate me ne and annoy me.

but i am seriously not sure what i should do to ensure my id is not stolen again. any suggestions?

mohamad

please ask me to orkut

Abbas

Well dear, yet I have not been invited by any one to join orkut. Can you help me to join orkut.

mani

i can not go in orkut site cus of proxy how can i passed it iam living in iran

Weber Ress

hi mani,

Access http://www.openproxies.com

[]'s

Weber Ress

snopy

give me ID in orkut

sara

i can not go in orkut site cus of proxy how can i passed it iam living in iran

neda

i can not go in orkut site cus of proxy how can i passed it iam living in iran

Maheen

Some guy named Junaid from Karachi, Pakistan put up my cell no. on orkut in the call girls' list. I have been receiving countless phone calls from guys asking me how much i charge. This is pathetic because i don't even know any Junaid and i had never heard of this site till some guy called and told me that my cell no. was on display and so was my name under the call girl list.

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