Monday, January 14, 2008

What the f---? Account 000 rears its head

Background: Account 000

I've never posted about it before, but there was an Account 000. It was the Yahoo account I signed up for a number of years ago that I actually used for e-mail, Yahoo groups and the like. I've never written about it before because it's the one Yahoo account where I can understand why it was suspended from Yahoo Answers.

A lot of people post questions asking how they can steal someone else's password. I largely ignored these questions. One day I stumbled upon a web site that had a list of directions that CLAIMED to allow you to get an account's password e-mailed to you. If you actually followed the directions you would in fact e-mail your own Yahoo password to the person whose account you were trying to hack. It was, in short, a way for dumb script kiddies to make total fools of themselves and possibly lose their passwords to someone they were trying to violate. It looked like a wonderful example of instant Karma.

In a moment of reckless, trouble making abandon, I used these directions as an answer to a number of "How can I steal someone's password?" questions. If anyone tried to follow the directions, they'd find the unpopular kid, ex girlfriend, what have you whom they were trying to attack would, in fact, have access to THEIR yahoo account.

Yahoo, naturally, took a dim view of these posts.

My beef was not with the fact that it was suspended, nor the fact that my rationale for the posts was rejected. I got riled up because it was clear from the post-suspension e-mail exchange that this was being handled by a bot spewing out form letters based on keyword matches. There was no indication that a human being had taken so much as a glance at the posts in question or read my appeal. I was reminded of the claim floating around that a guy had his account suspended for asking for advice on hacking his laser tag system. I created a second Yahoo account, Account 001, and this blog, to explore what, exactly, would get an account suspended.

Why I'm grousing about it now

The account, while still active for e-mail, groups and other Yahoo services, has been suspended for doing so much as editing Yahoo Answers preferences. This means I still get e-mail about account activity.

Congratulations, you've got a best answer and 10 extra points!

Account 000 was suspended in mid September. You'd think a suspended account would be, you know, suspended. This is not the case. All the undeleted answers I'd posted sat on Yahoo Answers, frequently being voted "Best Answer"

On Christmas Day, 2007, three and a half months after the account had been suspended, It once again won "Best Answer" for answering a question about Penis Enlargement pills.

According to Yahoo, 18% of the answers I posted under Account 000 were voted "Best Answer." It had been rated a "Top Contributor" a number of times and had a total of 7,188 points, bringing it to Level 5.

I'd be very surprised if Account 000 wins any more "Best Answers" as I doubt there are any pending questions left. Here, in all its glory, is what should be the last "Best Answer" Account 000 will garnish:
Q: Penis Enlargement??
Is Penis Enlargement pills or medicine safe to use.May it cause any type of side-effects.

A: Those pills are just a scam to separate the ignorant from their money.

You won't get a bigger wang out of a bottle of pills kid.

But Wait, there's more!

Why send a violation notice to a suspended account? These nit-wits won't let me turn off the notifications, because that part of the account is suspended. Despite the fact that the account has been suspended, despite the fact that there's nothing more I can do about the account, despite the fact I can't even go back and edit or delete any potentially offending posts, Yahoo Answers still sent me a notice that they'd deleted more of the "How to hack a Yahoo password" posts I mentioned above.

This notice was sent on December 15, Three months after the account had been suspended. I know this is just an automated process, but it's still annoying. What are they going to do, suspend the account again? Suspend the account from other services like IM and e-mail?

It strikes me as a waste of time and resources, and a great way to get Yahoo added to the Spam filter on many suspended accounts.


Anonymous said...

It's true. Yahoo answers really does suck. I even grabbed hoping to be able to resell it or something. For now, it just points to my blog.

Anonymous said...

So, you're basically aping someone else's idea but can't think of anything more clever than a post about "Rock Rolling" someone?

Do you have some small, pathetic dream of selling the domain name for millions of dollars?