Auburn Family

Our Apology for a Spam Incident on Auburn Family

Hello from Auburn Family,

I'm writing the community to apologize for a person that got through our clearing process. By my count, this person sent spam messages to 68 members of the Auburn Family network.

The account for that person has been deleted and their messages have been deleted from the site, too. That, however, does not delete the associated email some may have received due to them leaving a message on your Auburn Family "My page". In case you're interested, it was some nonsense about " making free money on the net."

I realize some might ask, "Robert, it was only 68 people. Why are you apologizing to all of us?"

I'm writing for two reasons.

First, to give you the information to turn off emails that might occur if this happens again. (See below)

, you have all expressed a certain amount of trust in us by signing up for Auburn Family. This person's spamming of many accounts served to devalue the very hard work that so many students have put into the site.

Those students recently won an award for their hard work on this site. See Auburn Family Wins 2010 Silver Medal for New Media. I am proud of them. I want you all to know that this instance of spam was not their fault. They are good students. They work countless hours creating feature stories and videos each week for you.

Your Email Settings

How to adjust your email settings in Auburn Family. You all have controls for what emails you receive in your settings page. Please follow that link and look in the very top "Auburn Family Messages" section. Uncheck the box next to "A comment on My Page". This will keep any message from being sent if someone were to leave a comment on your page within the site.

To my knowledge, this is the first spam instance we've had in our network. We will work to keep them out in the future. The sad reality is, when your social network becomes popular, the spammers seek you out. This person's online
presence looked legitimate, so I let them through to the site.

I'm very sorry for the spam message reaching some of you. We have worked hard to avoid this possibility from the very beginning of the network. That's why everyone is vetted. How we vet members, if you are interested, is below.

Thank you for your participation and your understanding.

War Eagle!

Robert French
Communication & Journalism

P.S. So, if you're wondering, how do we vet members?

If the new member does not have an or email address, we take their name and email address and do some investigation.

Using their name and email address, we search through Google, Yahoo and many other search engines to see if they (a) are an Auburn alum or fan, (b) have any connection to Auburn, (c) have an existing online presence that is free of spam, and (d) whether or not they have a presence in any of the many social networks out there online. We search through many social networks. It is not a simple process. We do not take the protection of this site lightly. You are important to us.

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