Add process for reporting problematic fanmail messages

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  1. Laura Schneider profile image91
    Laura Schneiderposted 5 years ago

    Hi Matthew and fellow geniuses!

    I just got my 4th or so oddly disturbing email to my Fan Mail Page in recent weeks. Is there a way you could just add a reporting flag on these just like most other places so that it's easier/faster for us all to deal with?

    If not what's the process I should have used to report this?

    Thanks!

    --Laura Schneider

    1. Matthew Meyer profile image72
      Matthew Meyerposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      The main issue is that these messages can be sent from users not logged into the site.
      We currently use some logic to block repeated posts from the same IP for example.

      Is the idea that you would want a "flag this as spam" link in each fanmail message you receive?

      1. Laura Schneider profile image91
        Laura Schneiderposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Yes, you've got it right Matthew:

        Note that a programming solution may not be the most cost-effective response--if someone presses this fan mail flag perhaps it shoots an email to a person(s) assigned to deal with it. Note that, by the nature of stalkers and weirdoes of various sorts, any interaction the recipient has with them is seen as positive, so it's important that someone "formal"--a neutral third party--responds to these people quickly and gets them off the site. For this type of thing, maybe a "flag" isn't what you need but a "banner" that says "weirdo" or something. It wouldn't have to be implemented the same way, as long as the results are removal of the jerk/forbidding that IP address from re-entry, whatever magic you do at that point.
        ----------------------------
        I write under my real name because I think it's the right thing to do--to take responsibility for good/bad actions, but that has left me open to a number of stalkers over the years, starting back in college with the "let me take your picture" guy, and I've been about -| |- this close to getting a restraining order against another stalker whom I know is always armed and still furious with me a decade later (ex).
        _________________

        Hope that helps. Marcy and I are far from the only one whom stalkers go after, so I think we'll all breathe a sigh of relief if we can just flag the weird ones.

        Thanks again Matthew!

        --Laura

    2. Matthew Meyer profile image72
      Matthew Meyerposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Laura,

      I just did some testing and we currently display this at the bottom of the fanmail messages.
      "Is this email inappropriate? Report it as spam or abusive.

      Replying to this message directly will reveal your email address to the sender. If you prefer not to be contacted through HubPages, please change your email preferences."

      The spam and abusive links both are there to report the message as inappropriate.
      So it sounds like we already do this.
      Is there something else you are asking for?

      1. livewithrichard profile image86
        livewithrichardposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        How about allowing us to create a list of blocked IP's so we don't get continuous unsolicited emails from a repeat offender.

        1. Matthew Meyer profile image72
          Matthew Meyerposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          We already do some of this behind the scenes.

  2. Marcy Goodfleisch profile image94
    Marcy Goodfleischposted 5 years ago

    This is a good idea.  It feels very invasive when the spammers or stalkers contact you via the email option.  It's bad enough when they leave spammy or otherwise offensive comments.  Neither happens that often, thankfully.

    1. wilderness profile image97
      wildernessposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I don't find it invasive - I'm glad that HP has put an additional "receiver" between the spammer and me.  The actual email is residing on HP's server, not on my computer, so to speak.  They've just sent me a copy to let me know they have it.

      At least that's my rationalization - it keeps me happy.

      1. Laura Schneider profile image91
        Laura Schneiderposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Wilderness--I agree it's nice to have a buffer between the public and us, the writers. That can work for info sent as Fan mail, comments, etc. But these emails are going straight to my own personal email account (set up for HP email only), too, through the link on the fan mail page that says "Send Laura Schneider an email". Now, I love getting email from my readers, either with suggestions, questions, or similar stories of their own. But, in this particular case, the spammer joined Hub Pages and is (trying to) send me Fan Mail so that he can get my email address.
             "G fire 0 Hubs / Joined 39 hours ago
              hi la...... osama.leex@yahoo.com this my yahoo ok call me ??? i watee
              39 hours ago"
        He has been banned from HubPages already (Wow! Thanks Matthew!) but the last time I looked the only thing he had done was to follow 11 (I think) people nothing else. Stalkers are a strange bunch. If I had responded in any way he would have continued, asking "why?" and whining and griping about why I didn't want any more contact with him. Rejection seems to make stalkers even more intent on befriending you (don't ask me why). Weird bunch, that's for sure. Usually harmless, but weird. I say "usually" because a handshake or other touch invariably turns them into semi-dangerous. (I've had a lot of stalkers over the years.) :-|

        1. wilderness profile image97
          wildernessposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          I certainly didn't mean to minimize the negativity of the whole stalker thing - that was the farthest thing from my mind.

          Rather, just an attitude that I don't get emails from hubbers (unless I reply to something) - HP sends me copies of emails that I can look at and respond to (or not) at will.  Just an attitude - a mindset or rationalization - that helps maintain inner peace.

          1. Laura Schneider profile image91
            Laura Schneiderposted 5 years agoin reply to this

            Wilderness--
            Hey, no problem at all! And I didn't think you were minimizing the importance, either.

            I just wanted to further ensure that something is done because I get a stalker or weirdo about once a week, whom I forward to Simone. But with her leaving and HP (hopefully) growing, this will be a bigger problem that may require some programming rather than having this group of 11 people all emailing their weekly stalkers/weirdos to Simone's "replacement" (though she can never be replaced literally, just figuratively) to deal with or into a bit bucket that sooner or later someone forgets to check. [A shrink would probably say I wrote it to get it out of my head, which is probably also true! LOL]

            Like you, I like having that buffer between HP and my readers and me--whoever thought up that idea is brilliant! I just love HubPages. I wish I could get my next article off my desk, but it's huge and still requires a lot of research--just stuck there, taking a long second place to finding a new "real" job (I hate job hunting, like almost everyone does). That and I've been playing with SEO and learning a lot (instead of job hunting). Sorry I'm completely off topic now.

            Thanks Wilderness -- I'm eternally working on finding my inner peace, so I can use all the help I can get -- and thanks Matthew (likely the brilliant person who thought up the 'letters from readers' feature in the first place). Cheers!

        2. Matthew Meyer profile image72
          Matthew Meyerposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          I'll bring this up in our next community meeting.
          In the meantime, if you get SPAM or other unwanted fanmail from a user with a HubPages account, report the profile of the offending sender with at much detail as you can (example of the message can be helpful).
          We review each of these reports.

 
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