skype

Where there is free, there is spam. Be it the tragedy of the commons or the tragedy of the idiots, we're now starting to see the advent of spam in the Skype realm. James Enck has coined the term Skam to denote the reception of strange messages from total strangers. Timely the news is, as we just received a piece of skam ourselves this afternoon. Apparently there is no way to a priori decline all invitations to group chats (aka Skype MegaChat) from your contact list, so you could log on to a plate full of unsolicited messages without having to approve anything (even if you (hopefully) trust all your contacts, it seems strange there is no global opt out for this). If a skammer found a way to get you roped into group chats from beyond your contact list, the door would be wide open to malevolent nastiness. Imagine applications being developed to take advantage of the new "trend," such as Skambot, which would index and harvest users from the Skype directory to be gathered into large group conference calls (aka Skype group chats) that are then used to send unsolicited messages in bulk. Om Malik asks how long it will be before the messages turn into unsolicited file transfers. All of which begs the question: what filtering methods can we add to enhance our Skype experience, before the Texas Hold'em poker fiends get tired of just preying on blogs?

Engadget Podcast 023 - 03.21.2005