Monday, December 27, 2010

Spam for mech clans - A rant

Several times I got a random private message from a merc clan bot.  They start with "ADV" and have a four digit number.  I didn't ask to be added to their 'friend list' and get a PM from them.  This is almost as bad as getting a telemarketing phone call and they are blocking the name and telephone number and then telling you that there is nothing you can do to stop the spam.

They are wrong, there is something we can do.  Complain loudly to Jagex each time you get this PM advertising a merc clan (in my case 'GP FAMILY').  I put up a suggestion on the suggestion forum for a 'FRIEND REQUEST' option.  Basically it will disallow anyone sending you a PM unless you give them permission to add you to their friend list.  It is an overdue option as when I get the PM from the spam bots they are already on private and I can't PM them back to stop.

The suggestion I added was:
  • Allow a fixed number of requests per player for a time period (ie. week or month
  • If the player declines the request to be added the decline stays on the requestors list for a week or month cutting back on the number of available slots they can use.
  • If you don't recognize the account have a function to 'reply' with a 'Who are you?' query.
  • The request sits for a week or month before expiring.
  • If this is a bot it will effectively shut down that bot and force the bot creators to add new bots (and this is a P2P world so it will cost them real money).
  • If it advertises for a merc clan  then sanction the merc clan with temporary (and in some cases permanent) bans on the account(s) that have control of the CC.
Basically this will stop anyone from sending another player a private message unless the recipient specifically authorizes that player to be able to send you a private message.  Also, if they remove you from their friend list then that authorization is removed and they have to ask you again before being allowed to use the PM facility.

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