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post #1 of 68 (permalink) Old 04-03-2018, 07:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Unsolicited Threadloom Weekly Digest e-mail

Me and others have just received an unsolicited weekly digest e-mail from a company called Threadloom on behalf of OCN.

From a quick search on the Internet it seems that this is a recent deal that VerticalScope made with Threadloom for distributing newsletters for VS forums. They necessarily got our e-mail database in the mix so first of all it would be good to know if we should expect our e-mails to be sold and resold for spam e-mails as a result of this deal.

Anyway, the problem right now is that me and others, including in other forums, didn't sign up for this newsletter, so it seems that this matter was ill handled by VerticalScope on a vertical scale, starting with the fact that it wasn't publicized on the site and I had to search on-line to figure out what was happening.

This is not the way to do things. We shouldn't receive e-mails we didn't sign up for. Opt-in should be the rule, not opt-out. Don't make people have to work to disable stuff. We already have all the unfortunate current software and OS ecosystems providing that kind of hassle.

But more troubling, I still haven't found exactly where to disable it. I looked up in the options and I don't know where this e-mail is supposed to come from. The only option I have checked under "Messaging & Notification" is this one:

Quote:
Receive Email from Administrators

It is common sense that this is reserved for extraordinary circumstances and has until now been used judiciously, obviously not for weekly digests of what threads are on the frontpage, so, the question is, is this the option under which these e-mails are being sent? Or are they simply being sent with no option to disable them?

If you want, create an additional weekly category to complement this monthly one (which I have turned off):

Quote:
Receive a monthly newsletter from Overclock.net - An Overclocking Community



Last edited by tpi2007; 04-03-2018 at 08:09 PM.
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post #2 of 68 (permalink) Old 04-03-2018, 11:12 PM
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I'm not happy (to put it mildly) that VS saw fit to share (or sell) our email addresses with another firm. This was completely unacceptable!

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post #3 of 68 (permalink) Old 04-03-2018, 11:34 PM
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post #4 of 68 (permalink) Old 04-04-2018, 05:13 PM
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I will bring this up with VS directly.


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post #5 of 68 (permalink) Old 04-05-2018, 06:14 AM
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I am getting some more information on this later today.

However what I have been told so far is that it is a new INTERNAL system for VS to distribute newsletters regarding its owned communities. As it is internal, there has been no sharing of peoples information outside of VS and I have been assured that is the case and is the stance of VS to not sell off users information. It seems that the system being enabled for OCN was premature and not intended. When the system was intended for release, it would have been announced beforehand and with instructions on how to unsubscribe from the system.

Myself and VS undertstand the concern and we are not surprised it came as a shock, as I say VS would have pre-warned about this new feature but it looks like it was mistakenly enabled for OCN, please remember that this is an internal system, so think of it as an additional software feature that has come along...it is is no way data mining.

Thanks guys,
E


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post #6 of 68 (permalink) Old 04-05-2018, 09:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote: Originally Posted by ENTERPRISE View Post
I am getting some more information on this later today.

However what I have been told so far is that it is a new INTERNAL system for VS to distribute newsletters regarding its owned communities. As it is internal, there has been no sharing of peoples information outside of VS and I have been assured that is the case and is the stance of VS to not sell off users information. It seems that the system being enabled for OCN was premature and not intended. When the system was intended for release, it would have been announced beforehand and with instructions on how to unsubscribe from the system.

Myself and VS undertstand the concern and we are not surprised it came as a shock, as I say VS would have pre-warned about this new feature but it looks like it was mistakenly enabled for OCN, please remember that this is an internal system, so think of it as an additional software feature that has come along...it is is no way data mining.

Thanks guys,
E

Thanks for the information Enterprise.

I just went reading a bit more on how Threadloom works and regarding the system being internal and "there has been no sharing of peoples information outside of VS", what does that mean exactly? VS bought Threadloom? There is no indication of that on their site:

https://www.threadloom.com/about

Despite this newsletter functionality being a plug-in, the e-mail verification process (that and the fact that the e-mails come from them) described in the link below makes it seem like they do get access to the e-mail database and necessarily member's nicknames since they are in the body of the e-mail:

https://info.threadloom.com/newsletter-sign-up

They say (in the FAQ, at the end) they won't share or sell people's data though, so at least there is that comfort, but it all points to them getting it though, so I don't quite understand how this system is internal as you described it, starting of course with the e-mails being sent by them.


The next question of course is whether VS is going to adopt Threadloom's search function, as that seems to rely on more things on their part.



Anyway, it was mistakenly enabled for other VS owned sites too, which is a bit ironic since the Threadloom page says that this plug-in takes, and I quote:

https://info.threadloom.com/newsletter-sign-up

Quote:
10 minutes to set up.
10 minutes to curate.
Other affected VS owned forums:

http://forums.watchuseek.com/f530/ju...t-4670699.html

http://tw200forum.com/forum/site-hel...w200forum.html

http://www.greatlakes4x4.com/showthread.php?p=6364586


It's also not good to know, or at least that's what I take form your words, that this newsletter was going to be enabled by default anyway and the difference is that we would be somehow told beforehand how to disable it.

Here's a practical question: I'm assuming that you will be doing away with the monthly newsletter and replacing it with this weekly one, am I right? I doubt you'll be running a completely internal monthly newsletter in parallel.

So, for people who have the monthly newsletter disabled, it makes sense that this option would transition to the weekly one. If people don't want to be bothered with a monthly newsletter, it stands to reason that they don't want to be bothered four times as much.


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post #7 of 68 (permalink) Old 04-05-2018, 11:51 AM
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Management of user data with regards to Threadloom runs similarly to how Tapatalk works, they provide us with the tools to manage the service and it is controlled by our marketing and development teams. No one from threadloom has access to the data involved. The search functionality is being discussed at a later date, given the news that google on site search is being done away with it may be something we implement given the content limitations of sphinx to run in concert similar to how the site is operated now with google. The non-subscribers to the monthly newsletter will be honoured. I'm working to get that corrected presently.

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post #8 of 68 (permalink) Old 04-05-2018, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote: Originally Posted by Overclock_Admin View Post
Management of user data with regards to Threadloom runs similarly to how Tapatalk works, they provide us with the tools to manage the service and it is controlled by our marketing and development teams. No one from threadloom has access to the data involved. The search functionality is being discussed at a later date, given the news that google on site search is being done away with it may be something we implement given the content limitations of sphinx to run in concert similar to how the site is operated now with google. The non-subscribers to the monthly newsletter will be honoured. I'm working to get that corrected presently.

Kyle

Thanks for the info Kyle, but how can it be that they don't have access to the data when the e-mails go through their address?

Namely:


Also, good to know that people who unticked the monthly newsletter option will have that option honoured, but in this case the e-mail reads as if it will be a weekly affair - it starts with "This Week’s Highlights", so the question is, are you saying that

1. you're still tuning the new system and are planning on turning it from weekly into monthly

or

2. the monthly checkbox will be converted into a weekly option?



Last edited by tpi2007; 04-05-2018 at 01:14 PM.
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post #9 of 68 (permalink) Old 04-05-2018, 01:50 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by ENTERPRISE View Post
I am getting some more information on this later today.

However what I have been told so far is that it is a new INTERNAL system for VS to distribute newsletters regarding its owned communities. As it is internal, there has been no sharing of peoples information outside of VS and I have been assured that is the case and is the stance of VS to not sell off users information. It seems that the system being enabled for OCN was premature and not intended. When the system was intended for release, it would have been announced beforehand and with instructions on how to unsubscribe from the system.

Myself and VS undertstand the concern and we are not surprised it came as a shock, as I say VS would have pre-warned about this new feature but it looks like it was mistakenly enabled for OCN, please remember that this is an internal system, so think of it as an additional software feature that has come along...it is is no way data mining.

Thanks guys,
E
I don't give the north end of a south bound furry little rodent if it was internal, something like that should be something we could opt into, not be forced to opt out of it if we don't want it cluttering up our inboxes. If this was a premature release (a big if, considering the plethora of broken promises of fixes by a certain date), it just demonstrates further how incompetent VS' developers are. Whether the release was intentional or not, it also demonstrates just how much VS doesn't care about its clients.

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post #10 of 68 (permalink) Old 04-05-2018, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
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I just noticed that we have one more script running on the site.

You guessed it: it's threadloom.com.

So, again, I don't quite understand how this system is purportedly completely internal (adding to the question in my previous post of the e-mails going through their "[email protected]" address).


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