The Skype SPIM/SPAM Has to Stop!

Skype SPAM - NO MORE
Are you getting tired of these request too? I’ve had just about enough of it and seriously thinking of dropping Skype altogether for good. The problem is not about one occasional spam message. The real problem is what they are not doing to protect it’s users.
You see in our household we use Skype for all of our long distance calls, since they are mostly overseas calls. We also use it to Video Chat with our relatives and friends in England since Skype is still the only cross platform video client. As much as I have tried, I still can’t seem to convince everyone to just go out and buy a Mac so using a client that spans the globe on any computer with Web Cam and mic is pretty important. With this in mind you can imagine that our family MacBook is used more are as a phone during the day then it does to Google the odd kids ailment and local events. The kids have grown quite accustomed to seeing their Nanny through out the day and many a bedtime story has been read over the web. They can generally make out the ring of a Skype call over the mobile and home phones. These are the times we live in and our children will be more tech savvy than we were at their age, even if we monitor their internet usage and acces to the computer. The terrible thing about Skype SPAM is that nothing can stop my 9 year daughter from seeing a new chat window pop up and wondering if her cousin or grandmother just logging in to say hi. You can only imagine the question that ensue when she lean into the screen only to see some PORN spammers avatar and then read their request to do something rather disgusting. I say nothing can be done, but obviously we turn Skype off and simply not use it all. Which has become the standard practice to date. But the minute you turn it on, there are request awaiting you… Skype even has the balls to bring them prominentaly to the front, like the first thing you ever want to day when you open your front door in the morning is talk to a vaccuum salesperson or a Jehovah’s Witness.
To date I have block about 50 people from contacting and “reported abuse” on at least 30 of them.  I have written to Skype many times never even getting a response. So far the only thing Skype has stated towards this issue is thge following which is rather lame at best:

Why is Skype not doing more to address the issue of Spam/SPIM?

We took the step of hiding the incoming contact request avatar in contact requests by default as this resolves the issue causing the most concern for our users — graphic spam.

They do go on to state that they very much care about you abut can’t really be bothered to simply lock down there system and send requests by email like most other services do. Or even better yet, create a holding cell for SPAM or undesired requests that we can access in our own time, like the way GMail handles your suspteced spam, quietly discreetly placing them in a folder just like all the others. When you’re ready Sir, after you read that important chat  about the kids soccer practice being in field 4 and not field 2, or listennned to that voice mail from your aunt Hazel who’s having issues with her webcam and would like you to do that screen sharing thing again to fix it, Sir; When you’re ready there are some people we think you know who’d like to chat with you, however we think they are undesirables and warn you to get the kids out of the room first…. Are they gone yet?… Are you sure, I think I just heard your eldest ask about a glass of milk… Ok we’re ready now.
It really wouldn’t not be that hard, I’m sure Google would probably even license some of their technology out to Skype if they wanted it.
Of course Google does have their own VoIP app that they’s acquired form GrandCentral.com and if only they could get a hold of it properly and actually find a way in integrating Google Chat to Google Voice, we drop Skype in  a heartbeat and be able rely on a company that truly does care about it’s customer base. I have to admit I could use a little of Google’s “Do No Evil” vibes in my VoIP needs right now, that way I wouldn’t feel like I’ve been caught Cinemax late at night everytime the MacBook blings a Skype message.

Skype SPIM/SPAM

DO THE RIGHT THING SKYPE!

Fix it for good or simply lock it down or you’re losing us as paying customers for Skype Out, and we’ll close out Business account down too. My children’s innocence is far more important than a cheap VoIP rate.

6 comments

  1. I too am getting repeated nuisance calls and all I can do is block them one by one when they are obviously computer generated. Are there any spam/spim filters I can get to prevent this happening? I didn't log on yesterday and this morning I had 16 unrequested calls. I am seriously considering leaving Skype because of this obvious dereliction of their duty: the names of these callers are easily detectable by me … why can't they see that they are malicious.

    I have looked at their FAQ … in particular 'Why is Skype not doing more to address the issue of Spam/SPIM?' And found it wanting.

  2. Thanks for doing the digging Denis.

    Thought I would repost here what the original response included in the link above:

    You can't stop it happening, I'm afraid.
    Setting your Privacy Options as you have won't have any effect.
    You can mitigate the annoyance factor by going to > Tools > Options >Notification Settings and ticking the box to show requests to exchange details in your system tray rather than having a ''pop up'' message on your screen.
    You can then deal with them at a time of your choosing.

  3. I'm getting fed up of the spam too, but also feel trapped with Skype as we are a Mac household and the grandparents and overseas family are all on PC… We are getting at least one message per day. This is especially worrisome as my eldest child is starting to get old enough to use the computer, so I will have to monitor him even more carefully than normal when he is Skyping with family (which you would think should be a safe activity….). I'm thinking at this point that there has to be other services out there that offer video chat and are cross-platform – it may just take some leg-work to do it, but I think I'm pissed off enough to take the time to find it. If there is, and the service only allows add requests by email, I would switch in a second…

  4. I too use skype for conference calls etc..sometimes Many a times, I have got these sexspams while I had a WebEx meetings going on with client.

    This is totally unacceptable and Skype must act on it.

  5. I too use skype for conference calls etc..sometimes Many a times, I have got these sexspams while I had a WebEx meetings going on with client.

    This is totally unacceptable and Skype must act on it.