Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tango.net / Tango.me SMS Text Spam

A colleague of mine downloaded the Tango app, which went into her contact list and spammed text messages.  The text consisted of, "Check out my photo on Tango" followed by a URL which was obviously not specific to a particular photo, or even a particular user.  I went ahead and followed the link and it was just an advertisement for the Tango app.

My colleague was mortified by the fact that she unknowingly spammed her contact list, especially since not all phone users are on unlimited texting plans, and assured me that she gave no authorization.  I suspect that she actually did authorize it, but under sufficiently-ambiguous wording that it wasn't obvious -- probably something like, "Do you wish to share your photos with your friends?"

Looking at Tango's terms of use, I see:

11. Third Party Fees.For particular Devices, Tango may ask your permission to use your native SMS application to deliver messages or invitations to people who are not registered users of the Services and with whom you choose to communicate. Some of these services may charge additional fees.

Yeah, I bet.

I am not happy.  I've never liked spam, and text message spam is especially bad since it is more disruptive and costly than email spam.

Please don't use Tango.net or Tango.me until they stop this deplorable practice.

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