Flixster me not

March 8, 2007

In the past two days, I’ve gotten two or three emails from friends I hadn’t heard from in months. Their emails looked suspiciously similar:

To: <My email address>
From: <My friend's email address>
Subject: <Friend's name> has sent you a private message

http://www.flixster.com/servlet/invite/<series of numbers>

<Friend's name>

This note was sent via Flixster by <friend's name / email> to <My email>. If you prefer not to receive emails like this, tell us here.

They’re all via Flixster, a web service that’s supposedly about rating and sharing movies with my friends. If I had signed up via the link given in my friend’s email, it would have “forced” me to log in using my Yahoo ID and password. It would steal all of my Yahoo contacts (and perhaps Hotmail as well — I’m not certain about that, though). Flixster would then send an email similar to the email above, this time from me and addressed to all of my friends. I’m not certain all this is accurate, but the fact remains that Flixster “steals” our friends’ email addresses and sends these emails on.

So, if you get one of those emails, I encourage you to NOT sign up. Not unless you want to be like one of the pod people and infect your friends as well. Just don’t expect me to join in.



5 Responses to “Flixster me not”

  1. joe Says:

    hi proudgeek,

    just stumbled upon your site via technorati… I am one of the founders of flixster…

    FYI, we absoilutely encourage new users to invite friends to the site (its about sharing movie ratings – not very useful without friends) – but we don’t force anyone to do so and certainly never “steal” addresses from anyone’s contact book. (We offer the ability to select friends to invite from your yahoo/hotmail/etc address book – but again, its optional and you get to choose who to invite and we don’t store your password at all)

    Anyway – sorry to hear you had a bad experience. Feel free to ping me back by email if you have questions…


  2. […] 10th, 2007 A few days ago, I wrote a post entitled “Flixster me not” warning people about invitation emails being sent out via […]

  3. John Says:

    I don’t care what Joe says. I believe that the homepage URL included in the email invite is all you need to click to send the invite to everyone in your contacts.

    I don’t know much about servlets and scripts, but if the url says flixster.com and nothing else, looks liek a simple homepage, why is the actual url include servlet/invite in it and why doesn’t it take you right to the homepage. I can’t verify it, because I don’t want to click it again, but it’s deceptive either way, no?

  4. […] you may remember, I posted a warning about responding to emails containing an invitation to join Flixster and how Flixster may […]

  5. […] I have found some other pages complaining about sleazy flixter invitations. They tend to get some scummy message from a […]

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