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The orkut hoax !! May 30, 2006

Posted by Sharath Rao in rant, technology.

If you are on orkut, you have come across this ‘spam’ going around that goes like this –

“Dear user because of sudden rush of people signing upto orkut is come to an attention that we are vastly running our of resources so with in a week any one who does not receive this scrap will be deleted of our server . We know that you are still using this account ….”

This is being forwarded to anyone all and sundry – not by the uneducated who may be excused for their ignorance but people who are in the top 1% of the Indian educated class by most socio-economic development parameteres. Does that message even look like its genuine ? And this inspite of Orkut clearly posting a disclaimer

In my opinion, doing this is the equivalent of spitting on someone’s face in public in broad daylight in a crowded city market. Would you do it ?

We are yet to realize that like there is something called civic sense, table manners, etc. there is something called network etiquette ( I dont know if there is such a word, but you know what I mean anyway. ). I previously have written something on this subject here – but I cant take it any longer.

I have to admit that I am ashamed that I have people in my friends list who fall in one or more of these categories –

a) a network-civic sense / netiquette
b) can somehow not guage that the message is most likely fake.
c) an idea how much damage they are doing
d) know they are doing damage, but couldnt care enough.

I am going to mail this link to every person who sends me this message – if you want to remove me from your friends list, please go ahead. Good riddance !

John Tierney in the NYTimes almost went to the extent of saying that capital punishment is inadequate to for such offences”.

“Published: July 12, 2005

Last year a German teenager named Sven Jaschan released the Sasser worm, one of the costliest acts of sabotage in the history of the Internet. It crippled computers around the world, closing businesses, halting trains and grounding airplanes.

Professor Landsburg, an economist at the University of Rochester, has calculated the relative value to society of executing murderers and hackers. By using studies estimating the deterrent value of capital punishment, he figures that executing one murderer yields at most $100 million in social benefits.

The benefits of executing a hacker would be greater, he argues, because the social costs of hacking are estimated to be so much higher: $50 billion per year. Deterring a mere one-fifth of 1 percent of those crimes — one in 500 hackers — would save society $100 million. And Professor Landsburg believes that a lot more than one in 500 hackers would be deterred by the sight of a colleague on death row.

Read his complete article here ( requires registration )



1. Deepak Krishnan - May 30, 2006

remember this mail???

Wed, 19 Oct 2005 01:00:07 IST


Just for you – for having forwarded me that chain message !

– Sharath

believe me, i stopped chain mails and forwards after that!!!

2. Sharath Rao - May 30, 2006

Aah..deepak ..am glad…i managed atleast one convert !! 😉

3. Deepak Krishnan - May 30, 2006

my next blog is going to be about the ‘dirty’ habit of commenting on one’s own blog….all i have to ask is, “why would anyone take the pain to keep checking ur blog everyday????”

but i sure am a hypocrite, i have come to check again..HA HA HA HA HA

4. Rohan Sabharwal - August 30, 2006

I know how frustrating it can be. here’s a lil something I wrote to my friends after which i stopped receiving these fwds—–>

I’ll tell you what really annoys me. What really annoys me is an idiot who doesn’t know he’s an idiot. Actually being an idiot is reason enough for me to hate you. I have 48 people on my friend-list who are complete morons! Yes you know who you are and no I’m not going to tell anyone who you are.

So I wake up this morning only to find 48 messages clogging my inbox and pushing my important emails back. They all had the following subject “Beware of being thrown out of Orkut”. Now I have taken time out to explain to you imbeciles how you can help your friends by NOT WASTING THEIR TIME!

1) ‘Dear user because of
sudden rush of people signing upto orkut is come to an attention
that we
are vastly running our of resources so with in a week any one who
does not receive this scrap will be deleted of our server.’

Notice the English. I’m going to ignore the lower-case U in user. But you can’t overlook the crappy diamond comics-esque “…people signing upto(?) orkut is come to an attention…” Now this could only be the work of a person from a certain community in India. And I can also pin-point the college this person graduated from. Now of course he could really be working for Orkut, so at this stage let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and move on.

2) ‘…We know
that you are still using this account We want to find out which
are actually using their orkut accounts so if you are using your
then please send this scrap to every orkut user that you can if u do
not pass this scrap to anyone then we will delete your account…’

I mean come on… come on! If you’re still not convinced after this one, I’m quite sure you’re the person who still opens attachments from unknown senders who don’t specify what those attachments contain.

‘ We know….. we want to find out…’ My god if they know why do they want to find out? And if they really need to find out whether I’m really using this account, why don’t they just check when the last message was sent or received or when was the last time I scrapped someone! Now if the reason they can’t do that is because of the privacy issue then how the fuck are they going to be able to trace this one!! And don’t tell me they have a word-tracker that is designed only to track down messages sent with the exact content as that ‘warning’ message because it’s stupid.

3) “Just
follow these simple steps. 1. Click on the “Messages Tab” in your
account. 2. Click on the “compose mail” option which is the last one
the four icons you see together. 3. Select “all friends” 4. Cut and
Paste this mail.”

And that’s exactly what you did, and completely pissed me off on such an awesome day! Why the fuck would you have to select “all friends”? Why isn’t there a name? Why hasn’t Orkut contacted people individually? It is possible for them to send emails to all their members at once like hotmail does. Even shitty small websites send out e-newsletters to thousands of subscribers at once.

But all this is beside the point. I’ve received this email before, and I haven’t forwarded it to anyone. I didn’t get deleted in a week. Boy, I’m lucky aren’t I!
Remember all those forwards supposedly from ‘Yahoo’ threatening to delete your email account if you didn’t forward their mail to 20 people? Did u notice the name “Joe Smith”? Did you notice how Joe’s position was “Yahoo Manager”? Did you notice that Joe didn’t even get an authentic Yahoo logo to add to his outgoing ‘official’ emails…which even my 5 yr old nephew can ‘right-click and save’ from their hompage? Instead Joe had to make his own e-letter-head using Ariel 36 point in bright ‘whorish’ red.

Now if you don’t have the time to read emails you receive, please don’t waste my time.

Also, please note: Yet again, I’ve noticed a majority of you think you are Clever/Quickwitted.

5. Sharath Rao - August 31, 2006

Couldnt agree more Rohit. Thanks for your comment and the time you spent on a post-length comment !

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