My name is danah boyd and I'm a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, a Research Assistant Professor in Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, and a Fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Buzzwords in my world include: privacy, context, youth culture, social media, big data. I use this blog to express random thoughts about whatever I'm thinking.

Relevant links:

Archive

banned from Orkut?

I keep hearing about folks who have been kicked off or “jailed” from Orkut. I’d love to hear more about this. Who all is getting banned? Why? Are you given explanations? What happens when you try to fight?

Print Friendly

44 comments to banned from Orkut?

  • joe

    As Joi pointed out[1], Marc Canter said his voracious activity got him put in ‘jail’[2]… this seems to be related to the upity invitation-architecture.

    [1] http://joi.ito.com/archives/2004/01/30/danahs_rant_on_orkut.html
    [2] http://blogs.it/0100198/2004/01/29.html#a2216

  • I have now been ‘jailed’ twice. The first time was after doing some “friends of friends” message questioning the security of email (I was wrong, see http://www.lifewithalacrity.com/2004/01/insecurity_at_o.html ).

    When you are banned, you get the messaage “*this account is in jail* Your account has been temporarily suspended due to unusual activities. We will verify your account status on orkut.com and remove your block. Please send an email to help+blocked@orkut.com with your username and name if you think we made an error.”

    When I asked why, I got an email back from Orkut Buyukkokten “Your account was blocked by the system automatically. The block is temporary. Your account should be fine now. I apologize for the inconvenience.”

    This afternoon, I posted another “friends of friends” message telling people about my discoveries and pointing them to my blog entry, and shortly thereafter was “jailed” again. I’ve inquired, and gotten no response.

    Since that time I’ve been told that some people who have uploaded inappropriate pictures or have otherwise violated the TOS have been “jailed”, and thus I must have violated the TOS.

    Someone else in the crypto community wrote me to say “Some of my other friends pointed out some security problems, and tried getting them to use SSL, and were put in jail, too, or had their accounts revoked. They’re a bit twitchy.”

    I handle TOS problems with my online game company Skotos all the time. But we always tell people precisely what they’ve done wrong when we do so. None of this happens with Orkut other then the message to send a mail to them. If you don’t know the cause, it makes it hard to appeal.

    I suspect the problem is that I’m emailing to “friends of friends” and that is triggering some type of “too much” flag, similar to the too many friends requests that I hear Joi Ito and Marc Canter running into. However, the system should instead stop me from sending emails to “friends of friends” in the first place if it is going to violate some type of check.

    What would concern me is if they are jailing me (and the other security people) because of something in the content of my messages. For instance, the word security, or someone at Orcut reviewing the messages and censoring after the fact. I don’t know if that is happening, but when there is insufficient information it is easy to fall into the worst case scenario.

  • joe

    I really wish this Chris guy (above) would stop sending messages to friends of friends… and, just like zeph, I’d like to be able to opt out of friends of friends messages.

  • I don’t plan to send any more messages to “friends of friends” — the first one was a warning all those vulnerable to the issue about a possible security hole, the second at Orkut’s request, the third was to explain the whole situation. I wish I had not sent the first one.

  • Urgh. As I’ve reported in my blog I’m in Orkut “jail”. However, I just discovered that my instant message addresses are visible by default to all friends, and I wanted to change this. (Danah, I can see your IM address, and I’m not sure you want that.)

    However, this is another function that is disabled while you are in “jail”.

  • I’m out of jail for the second time this morning. From what I can tell, in both cases it was because I sent an email to “friends of friends”. If this was reason, why did they prevent me from sending an email to “friends of friends” in the first place?

    In both cases I was freed in about 24 hours.

    A bit more troublesome to me is that in my of my blog on Orkut at http://www.lifewithalacrity.com/2004/01/insecurity_at_o.html#comments that people were saying that “jailed” are also TOS violators, typically innappropriate pictures or worse child pornography.

    I don’t know what I did, but I’m fairly certain I didn’t violate Orkut’s TOS, and I don’t appreciate being grouped with those that have.

    I’ve also been hearing rumors to the effect that some people in the cryptographic and security community have been raising security issues and have themselves “jailed” as well.

    If the goal of Orkut in this beta stage is getting feedback, then they are not doing a very good job. Feedback is a two-way street — by not letting us know what is going on (say by a developers blog, responding to problems reported in a forum, or by some type of structured bug reporting mechanism) it makes it difficult for us to offer constructive criticism. Instead, we fall into traps of rumor and conspiracy.

  • Followup on Orkut

    I’ve read of emails, Orkut messages, and blog postings since my post yesterday, so I thought I would share some with you….(pointers and commentary to several of Dahah Boyd’s blog entries, and other blogs and emails follow)

  • Followup on Orkut

    I’ve read of emails, Orkut messages, and blog postings since my post yesterday, so I thought I would share some with you….(pointers and commentary to several of Dahah Boyd’s blog entries, and other blogs and emails follow)

  • Got jailed for a third time today. This time I wasn’t really doing much on the system, just responding to posts in groups, confirming friend requests, etc.

    Quite annoyed, I sent another email off to their designated help address. I got this reponse this morning:

    Thanks for contacting us. To keep orkut.com a trusted community, we have implemented an automated system that aims to catch members who are trying to abuse it. When someone is caught, they are temporarily jailed. We try to catch only the bad guys, but occasionally innocent folks are put in jail too.

    We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and can assure you that your account will be unlocked within a day. We are working hard to make our jailing system smarter, and we appreciate your patience as we work our way up this learning curve.

    Stay connected,
    orkut.com

  • Scott Moore

    Seems to me that if the jailing is automatic, they could model group emails to see where those limits catch people without forcing users to be the guinea pigs for how much voltage kills guinea pigs.

    If the jailings are done on a case-by-case basis (i.e. “Admin alert: user A has sent a message to people 2 degrees away, would you like to review it?”) then it won’t scale well and we can expect more missteps in social admining.

    I have a mini-rant about the term “jailing”. Does that strike anyone else as amazingly loaded? As a developer, I’ve been in this situation (where we have to disable accounts for some reason) and the person being banned, locked out, gagged, pinned, frozen, or otherwise losing access is going to be unhappy anyway. It seems that using language that implies “criminal” is begging to make the negative reaction even more extreme (as is happening).

  • I did finally discover why I was jailed a third time. Two of us appear to have been jailed because of a bug when posting to groups. What happens is that if you write a long post, rather then the system tell you something is wrong, your posting form will just be refreshed. This will prompt you to submit a few more times, unsuccessfully. Then you realize it must be because your post is too long, so you’ll remove text a few times, and submit. At some point in this process, typically before you successfully trim it down enough to successfully post, you will discover you are in Orkut jail.

    Us long winded bloggers are particularly vulnerable to this ;-)

  • I don’t mean to interrupt your beautifulness. But can someone invite me to orkut? turgan@monomood.com

  • where are the flaws listed?

    So, if all the people who know security are thrown off or pissed off, where are they in fact listing all the security holes?

    A nice widely published list of them that is outside space orkut controls, is the best evidence that orkut is not managing its users properly.

    Ryze and Wikipedia have alienated many users with similar tactics. Why would orkut be different?

  • where are the flaws listed?

    So, if all the people who know security are thrown off or pissed off, where are they in fact listing all the security holes?

    A nice widely published list of them that is outside space orkut controls, is the best evidence that orkut is not managing its users properly.

    Ryze and Wikipedia have alienated many users with similar tactics. Why would orkut be different?

  • karvy nolte

    the place is a cesspool of trolls. it’s a polluted hole. you don’t want to go there.

  • life is just one polluted hole after another.

  • Spooky: Orkut Jail

    Been in Orkut jail? Didn’t know such a thing existed? Well, find out about it here….

  • A la sombra

    Aclaraba edmz hace unos das que “Orkut no ofrece premio alguno a aquel que logre agregar a ms personas a su lista de amigos”. Lo cierto es que es ms bien lo contario, nos castiga: la polmica Orku jail ya…

  • A la sombra

    Aclaraba edmz hace unos das que “Orkut no ofrece premio alguno a aquel que logre agregar a ms personas a su lista de amigos”. Lo cierto es que es ms bien lo contario, nos castiga: la polmica Orku jail ya…

  • A la sombra

    Aclaraba edmz hace unos das que “Orkut no ofrece premio alguno a aquel que logre agregar a ms personas a su lista de amigos”. Lo cierto es que es ms bien lo contario, nos castiga: la polmica Orkut jail ya…

  • I’m currently jailed for the second time. I’ve been adding friend randomly, sent out a friend-of-friend invitation, and added two scraps. I’ve asked Orkut for an explanation and also received no reply (other than the automated standard reply). I thought the point of Orkut was to create a community with unlimited growth potential, now it seems like it’s turning into a members only pissing contest. Everyone that is taking the time to post and connect with people is getting jailed.

  • A la sombra

    Aclaraba edmz hace unos das que “Orkut no ofrece premio alguno a aquel que logre agregar a ms personas a su lista de amigos”. Lo cierto es que es ms bien lo contrario, nos castiga: la polmica Orkut jail ya…

  • A la sombra

    Aclaraba edmz hace unos das que “Orkut no ofrece premio alguno a aquel que logre agregar a ms personas a su lista de amigos”. Lo cierto es que es ms bien lo contrario, nos castiga: la polmica Orkut jail ya…

  • A la sombra

    Aclaraba edmz hace unos das que “Orkut no ofrece premio alguno a aquel que logre agregar a ms personas a su lista de amigos”. Lo cierto es que es ms bien lo contrario, nos castiga: la polmica Orkut jail ya…

  • Not just jailed. I was first jailed repeatedly and now have had my account suspended – for no given reason.

    So yeah, something is really broken. They’re not responding to my requests for a re-set or even information on why. Nothing but hostile silence from the powers-that-be at orkut.

  • More jail talk….

    banned from Orkut? .

  • A la sombra

    Aclaraba edmz hace unos das que “Orkut no ofrece premio alguno a aquel que logre agregar a ms personas a su lista de amigos”. Lo cierto es que es ms bien lo contrario, nos castiga: la polmica Orkut jail ya…

  • Reuven

    I got put in Orkut jail! Here’s why. I had created a community for those critical of the Macintosh and the mac zealots all ganged up and marked me as bogus user! I sent a fed-ex to Orkut demanding he remove from his system all of the Mac users who abused the “bogus user” button. So far, no reply

  • Mike

    I would like to join orkut, but I don’t yet know anyone there. I noticed that some people are selling orkut invitations on Ebay. It seems tacky to me.

    My E-mail address is Myname2 at Cox dot Net.

    I just want an opportunity to be jailed like all of you lucky people. ;-)

  • cyvault

    I think I have the only computer in my dang town. I don’t know anyone using orkut, in fact, I don’t even think people know what the internet is. Thank you for any help.

  • cyvault

    I think I have the only computer in my dang town. I don’t know anyone using orkut, in fact, I don’t even think people know what the internet is. Thank you for any help.

  • pagan

    hi im in jail now i dont know when i will be free.
    please bring me a cake with a file in.

  • cammie

    I registered to Orkut yesterday and then this morning I found out I’m in jail, for no apparent reason! Seriously, I have no idea what I could’ve done to cause that…maybe joined too many communities in less than a day? o_O Orkut is weird.

  • Punisher

    For how log will i be banned?

    Bye!

  • Kyknos

    I have been jailed second day on orkut. I did no evil!!! :(((

  • Daniel

    i’m in jail too !!!! and I didn’t send any mail trought orkut, and I create no communitie.

    tell me why !

  • Pedro Garcia

    I’ve been on jail for 3 days and I still there.
    I think they are testing their POWER.
    Nobody wants to go to jail, they may be thinking of telling what they want you to do(something like this). The problem is orkut is very adictive… U never know

  • Leonardo Guerra

    Banned too!
    What’s wrong with this guys???
    Hacker’s are under control???
    How long i will be banned??

  • Flavia Penido

    I’m relieved!! I was in jail from yesterday untill today, and didn’t had a clue for what was happening…And it was my 3rd day!!!! I joined a lot of comunities, and posted to them. But I thought this was legal…And I didn’t post to any friend of a friend.
    Well, it’s weird being caught without knowing why…
    At least now I know this is commom…although inaceptable…

  • GERALDO

    EU GOSTARIA DE PODER PARTICIPAR DOS COMENTARIOS E INTEGRAR A REDE DE AMIGOS DO ORKUT. ALGUEM PODE ME CONVIDAR? OBRIGADO – I WOULD LIKE FRIENDS ORKUT. IT S POSSIBLE? THANKS. GERALDO

  • GERALDO

    EU GOSTARIA DE PODER PARTICIPAR DOS COMENTARIOS E INTEGRAR A REDE DE AMIGOS DO ORKUT. ALGUEM PODE ME CONVIDAR? OBRIGADO – I WOULD LIKE FRIENDS ORKUT. IT S POSSIBLE? THANKS. GERALDO

  • Joe - Rio de Janeiro

    I am in jail for the third time… I never sent a “friends of friends” message, never did anything that could be considered wrong…
    All I do is answer the questions of thr Girl in a community “Women ask, Mas answer” stuff…
    The secound time, I complained, sending about 40 e-mails, all of them with 1 or 2 lines, like “Tell me whats my crime?” ; “Do I have mass destruction weapons in my computer?”; “Let me go!”…

    This afternoos, I was in jail for the third time without any reason… SO I wrote gently this:

    Subject: NO KIDDING?!?!?!

    AGAIN? You must be kidding with me… OR WHAT?
    Is this FUCKING thing automatic..?! SO FIX IT, you bastard!!!!!!!!
    You know what?!?! SCREW YOU AND YOUR SLOWEST SERVER!!!!!
    You are just not able to deal with many clients… so GIVE UP!!!! OR MAKE THIS THING, AT LEAST, WORK FINE!!!!!
    IS THAT SO DIFICULT?!?!??!?!?!!?!
    OH, GODDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I received the same automatic answer… lets see whats going to happen…!

  • Joe - Rio de Janeiro

    I am in jail for the third time… I never sent a “friends of friends” message, never did anything that could be considered wrong…
    All I do is answer the questions of thr Girl in a community “Women ask, Mas answer” stuff…
    The secound time, I complained, sending about 40 e-mails, all of them with 1 or 2 lines, like “Tell me whats my crime?” ; “Do I have mass destruction weapons in my computer?”; “Let me go!”…

    This afternoos, I was in jail for the third time without any reason… SO I wrote gently this:

    Subject: NO KIDDING?!?!?!

    AGAIN? You must be kidding with me… OR WHAT?
    Is this FUCKING thing automatic..?! SO FIX IT, you bastard!!!!!!!!
    You know what?!?! SCREW YOU AND YOUR SLOWEST SERVER!!!!!
    You are just not able to deal with many clients… so GIVE UP!!!! OR MAKE THIS THING, AT LEAST, WORK FINE!!!!!
    IS THAT SO DIFICULT?!?!??!?!?!!?!
    OH, GODDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I received the same automatic answer… lets see whats going to happen…!

  • Joe Rio

    I am in jail for the third time… I never sent a “friends of friends” message, never did anything that could be considered wrong…
    All I do is answer the questions of thr Girl in a community “Women ask, Mas answer” stuff…
    The secound time, I complained, sending about 40 e-mails, all of them with 1 or 2 lines, like “Tell me whats my crime?” ; “Do I have mass destruction weapons in my computer?”; “Let me go!”…

    This afternoos, I was in jail for the third time without any reason… SO I wrote gently this:

    Subject: NO KIDDING?!?!?!

    AGAIN? You must be kidding with me… OR WHAT?
    Is this FUCKING thing automatic..?! SO FIX IT, you bastard!!!!!!!!
    You know what?!?! SCREW YOU AND YOUR SLOWEST SERVER!!!!!
    You are just not able to deal with many clients… so GIVE UP!!!! OR MAKE THIS THING, AT LEAST, WORK FINE!!!!!
    IS THAT SO DIFICULT?!?!??!?!?!!?!
    OH, GODDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I received the same automatic answer… lets see whats going to happen…!