Communication Internet Social Media & Social Networking

How to hide spammy Shouts on Digg

Unsolicited messages (a.k.a Spam) are a drain and a drag. No sooner do we edge away from our total dependance on email – towards Social Networks like Pownce and StumbleUpon, or IM (Instant Messaging) services like MSN Messenger or Yahoo! Messenger – do we then find ourselves the target of yet more spam…

According to the Wall Street Journal, spam is costing the global economy dearly:

“… Today, spam represents roughly 90% of all email sent … Unsolicited, unwanted, bulk email costs the global economy an estimated $50 billion each year in direct outlays, lost productivity, interruptions and wasted time.”

While reviewing the new and largely improved version of Digg recently, I gave several sideways glances at the Shout feature and how it might be a tool to be misused.

Others out there talked up the possibility of Digg Shouts being used as a conduit for spam, and now it seems that they’re a “legit” tactic for spamming people:

“They obviously tried to make [Digg] easier to interact with friends and to send messages, ahem, shouts, I mean SPAM messages to other users.”

By default, your preferences are set to show all Shouts to you to anyone who comes along. So not only do you get spammed, but you also get to be a broadcaster of their spam, too.

And if you’re a Digg’r of note, getting a steady tide of profile visits, you become a signal boosting antenna into the bargain.

How to stop annoying your Digg friends with spammy Shouts

  1. Go to your Digg Profile page and click on the: “Settings” tab.
  2. Scroll down to the: “Privacy: Shouts & Photos” and choose: “Nobody” for the: “Display shouts in my profile to…” option.
  3. Click the: “Save Changes” button and you’re done!

Problems with your Settings

There’s no option to hide your Stats (to be found in the bottom right of your Profile page) as you can with your Shouts.

If you are an active Digg’r, you could then hide your Stats, so if anyone is hunting around for top Digg members to friend up to and turn into an ad hoc spam broadcaster, they won’t see your activity and may just pass on by.

Here’s where having the option to give a weight or a value to friends on Social Networks would be a boon. Especially if in doing so, you could control their activities on your Profile page, such as posting Shouts.

Let’s face it, with friends sending you spam, you don’t need enemies…

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By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.

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