YouTube is a spam machine!

Recent­ly, I was try­ing to import some con­tacts from Gmail to YouTube. After going through a Plaxo dia­log to select all my con­tacts, I assumed the next step would be to see who of those con­tacts were on YouTube. I thought wrong, in stead the ser­vice has e‑mailed every address I import­ed (almost 200) an invi­ta­tion to con­nect with me with­out my explic­it con­sent.

YouTube logo

Nat­u­ral­ly, I’m quite upset about the whole sit­u­a­tion and have decid­ed to at least offer my apolo­gies for both­er­ing any­one with this spam. If you’ve received a YouTube invi­ta­tion from frog1980 and thought it was inap­pro­pri­ate, I’m very sor­ry to have unwont­ed­ly both­ered you.

Also, I hope some­one of YouTube reads this and will make it a point to recon­sid­er the way import­ing con­tacts works. Spam­ming my friends with­out my con­sent is not a cool thing to do.

Published by

Kars Alfrink

Kars is a designer, researcher and educator focused on emerging technologies, social progress and the built environment.

7 thoughts on “YouTube is a spam machine!”

  1. Update: I’ve just noti­fied YouTube of the issue too, here’s the mes­sage I sent them:


    I just had a nasty expe­ri­ence with your import con­tacts from Gmail fea­ture. Basi­cal­ly you’ve spammed almost 200 of my con­tacts in my name. Please read this:

    Hope you’ll do some­thing about this soon, because it real­ly was embar­rass­ing for me.



  2. I was just dis­ap­point­ed that after reg­is­ter­ing myself I found out that you did not have any videos to share with me after all!

  3. Wow, the upside of all this is that 14 peo­ple have accept­ed my “invi­ta­tion”. I’ve added them all to my friends list (includ­ing you Ed) so now they can enjoy a video of my awe­some Take­da Ryu iai­do jiyugata.

  4. Anoth­er update: YouTube replied to my mes­sage quite quick­ly, but the con­tents were quite disappointing:

    Hi there and thanks for con­tact­ing us!

    In response to your email we have pro­vid­ed you with answers to almost all of the ques­tions that we receive. If you are one of the very few who has a ques­tion we haven\‘t heard before, and your issue isn\‘t addressed below, please respond to this email and we will help you personally!

    Fol­lowed by a long list of FAQs. I replied of course, to see if they take the user expe­ri­ence of their site seri­ous­ly. Here we go:


    My prob­lem isn\‘t solved by the FAQs. Please see this blog post for the issue. I\‘d love to hear from you.

    Kind regards,

    Kars Alfrink (frog1980)

  5. Today I received anoth­er mail from YouTube. This one pur­port­ed­ly con­tains the “solu­tion”:


    Thank you for your sub­mis­sion. We rely on the YouTube com­mu­ni­ty to con­tin­ue to help shape our ser­vice. Your input will be reviewed and con­sid­ered. Stay tuned as the ser­vice is con­tin­u­al­ly get­ting bet­ter based on the feed­back we receive from the community. 

    Best Regards,

    The YouTube Team

    I give up. If any­one notices changes in their import con­tacts func­tion (for bet­ter or worse), let me know.

  6. Stay tuned as the ser­vice is con­tin­u­al­ly get­ting bet­ter based on the feed­back we receive from the community.”

    So more peo­ple need to com­plain and/or deliv­er YouTube a solu­tion? Sounds like they believe in this new­fan­gled Web2.0 user-cre­at­ed con­tent idea, includ­ing apply­ing it to their FAQ’s…

Comments are closed.