It hit me like a ton of bricks falling from a high building. I’m not sure that I have felt quite so bad, quite so devastated in a very long time. All my hard work, I thought, all my care and attention, for nothing. Tears welled in my eyes, and a feeling of rage in my breast. Last night Tagged deleted my profile, closed my account down without so much as a single word, without warning.
I knew that there were problems; Tagged had been loading slower and slower and connections to Twitter and Facebook for the automatic updates had stopped; tags sent to friends weren’t getting through. I didn’t realise, though, that it would be my problem, that I would be one of those directly effected.
I sent a couple of reports to Tagged Customer Service outlining the problems I was having, believing that they would have seen them anyway, but it is always better to be on the safe side. I expected nothing, my experiences with Facebook showing me what many Internet companies are like when they have a massive user base and few people to control what is happening; little time to consider facts, make decisions. My last mail to them detailed a problem I had come across which had much more of a bearing on the overall problem: it looked like someone had hacked into my profile account and sent out spam mails linking to a photograph on Tagged. Thirty-nine messages were in my Sent box, none of which had been penned by me, all sent with the same message to people I had never come across, never even heard of. The first thing I did was change my password, then mail the information to Tagged, leaving the messages there in case anyone needed to look at them.
Early this morning I came back to my computer and checked my mail first. It came as a surprise to me to see firstly acknowledgments that my mails had been received – even if they were auto bot replies – and then further mails saying my contact had been actioned. Completely different to Facebook which, as we all know, doesn’t care a fig. The last one was clear in saying that the problem had been sorted out and I could go back into my account, delete the offending mails from my Sent box and carry on. I logged in.
Well, no, not quite. I logged onto a page telling me that my profile had been deleted; it was no longer available.
Expecting nothing, I sent a new mail to Tagged asking why, outlining the problem and what I had done. It was clear to me that I had done nothing wrong at all, I just needed to hope that Tagged Customer Service saw it that way too. In fact I sent two mails, having used the wrong address the first time. Then, bearing in mind my experiences with Facebook, I simply created a new account, uploaded all my photographs, sought out a new Theme, Groups, re-created my online Me.
Later today I received two mails from Tagged, both saying exactly the same thing: my account had been marked up as a spammer thanks to the bastard (and I know of no other word I can use here) who sent out the spam mails using my name. The problem, they said, had been resolved and, since I was clearly not to blame, my profile had been reinstated. I could log back in and carry on as if nothing had happened.
A lesson for Facebook, and a new experience for me. there are Internet companies who take their responsibilities seriously, who do actually look to see what is happening rather than hitting the delete button and moving on to the next case, forgetting the old. Facebook never answered my query when they deleted my old profile without warning or reasoning. Tagged did.
It seems as if Tagged had a small hack attack. My profile wasn’t the only one used to send out these spam mails – all directed at other Tagged profiles – and probably not the only one temporarily disabled as a result. One of my friends commented on it, and her profile was still there too. I say ‘it seems as if…’ because nothing has officially been said, as I write this, on the Tagged Blog or elsewhere, which is fine by me.
Now I have two Tagged profiles. My original, packed with a mass of wonderful friends, is back online and I can carry on as if nothing had happened, holding conversations, having fun, playing around a little bit. The connections to Facebook and Twitter for status updates is back too, and the Tags I send to my friends are getting through once more.
The second profile, I have decided, will remain there and I will use it to chat with people about photography and, perhaps, a few of my other hobbies. It will be a(n almost) friendless profile, which suits me fine too. I’ll use it to upload photographs, to maintain my Groups interests for photography, as a back-up in case something goes wrong again.
My desolation at the loss of my original profile, through no fault of my own, has been changed to one of happiness and confidence. Tagged has shown that it is interested in the people who make up its user base and is not simply a mass social platform with no soul, a money maker. They have earned my trust, and that is saying a lot.
By the way, have you seen photographs of the new Facebook offices? The soulless bareness of the new working environment Zuckerberg has consigned his workers to reflects their working practices. Bare and without a heart. I don’t regret the move to Tagged in any way, shape or form.
Love & Kisses, Viki.