Bad Yaari: Social spam isn’t okay

So I get an e-mail today from one of my contacts in my GMail with the subject line: XXX sent you a friend request on Yaari… and so I decided to check it out. What’s Yaari you ask? Well I honestly don’t know myself. The website says that it’s a social networking sites for Indian youth. Wait, why should I be interested in signing up for a site that’ll connect me with Indian youths?

But that’s besides the point. So I look online to find out what is Yaari. Sure, before you sign up for something, you should figure out WHAT the site is about. Apparently what really turned me off is that when I googled it, the following description came up:

Lost connection to MySQL server at ‘reading initial communication packet’, system error: 0.

Wow, that’s a really good description of what your site is. And so I decided to take a look at the site a little bit more by looking at other reviews of the site and came up with a site that tells horror stories about what happened when they signed up for Yaari. It’s not a social networking site per se, but rather a way to scrounge around your e-mail account and steal your contacts in your address book so they can spam them with information too. Once you’ve signed up, you need to enter in your e-mail account password for either Yahoo, Hotmail, GMail, etc. and can’t use any other non-free e-mail service. Usually sites will let you bypass this, but according to this article of someone who tried it, Yaari won’t let you.

Now this whole trend with Yaari is somewhat bizarre. Whoever is in charge of Yaari needs to get their marketing hat on right. It’s a startup company based in Atlanta, GA and you gotta be smarter about this. Yes, you have a startup and need to get people interested in your application, but do you really think invading people’s privacy is a smart thing? Why would you think that just because one person said sure they’ll sign up, that gives you the right to sneak into their e-mail and send out invitations to their contacts. C’mon…your marketing folks are really stupid then. You need to read the CAN-SPAM act and now your company has such bad press since a lot of people (like me) are going to blog about how stupid your policy and procedures are and no one will sign up. So kiss your investment good-bye, Yaari.

If you get a Yaari invitation, delete it and don’t sign up. Save us all the hassle and avoid the site at all cost. It’s now the social networking site for…nobody!

By Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a journalist fascinated with the stories of the tech industry and internet culture. He's currently the Technology Editor at Flipboard, where he observes what's happening in the space while also identifying new topics of interest. In addition, he co-hosts the weekly internet show "The Created Economy," which focuses on what's happening to creators and influencers. Previously, he was a reporter for VentureBeat and The Next Web, covering tech startups, the industry's innovations and funding. Ken also has a newsletter you should also subscribe to called "Filed."