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The E-Mail Faux Pas That Lingers

Alina Tugend wrote last week about Web sites like Tagged and MyLife that blast out networking invitations to everyone in your address book, often generating much embarrassment in the process. But there’s another side effect of their recruitment methods, o
Alina Tugend wrote last week about Web sites like Tagged and MyLife that blast out networking invitations to everyone in your address book, often generating much embarrassment in the process. But there’s another side effect of their recruitment methods, one that can multiply the pain and prolong it for years. Searching the Web for portions of the messages these sites send out turns up a few critiques of the sites, along with hundreds of copies of the messages themselves. How did they end up getting posted online? Let’s say Julie is a member of a Yahoo Groups discussion of diabetes that she interacts with over e-mail. She has the mailing list’s address in her address book. When she gives her e-mail password to MyLife, it sucks up all of her contacts’ addresses and sends out messages saying “Julie has added you as a friend on MyLife!” One such message goes to the mailing list address, which means all 5,354 members of the list get copies — and the message is added to the list’s Web archive, where it can be found through search engines.
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