It’s right there in my “Friend Updates:” Apparently, my friend Tom — you know, the MySpace founder guy who is everybody’s default Friend — has added a new song from some singer-songwriter or other to his profile.
However there’s one small problem with this. Tom’s not my Friend.
When I first signed up for MySpace over a year ago (yup, I was late), I thought that it was a stupid idea to have Tom as one of my Friends, so I de-Friended him almost instantly.
So, if Tom’s not my Friend, why am I being told about the music he’s adding to his profile?
Because it’s dirty rotten filthy spam. And MySpace oughta be ashamed.
Well, you might ask, why do I consider this spam? Why don’t I just see it as an advertisement, like what Facebook puts into its News Feeds?
Simple: because it doesn’t say that it’s an ad, like the inserts into the News Feeds. It’s pretending to be something that I’ve requested: an update from one of my Friends. Instead, it’s an advertisement for a musician. What else can it possibly be?
And because it’s an ad pretending not to be an ad, it’s spam.
Look, I understand the need for advertiser-supported websites. I mean, MySpace is absolutely lousy with advertising of every size and shape, and that’s fine. Hell, if they marked this as an advertisement, I’d be fine.
What I resent is the combination of advertising pretending to be something else, in a place on the site that should be totally and utterly sacrosanct. In theory, “Friend Updates” should be completely walled off from showing me anything that I don’t want. After all, not only am I supposed to be able to choose my Friends in the first place, I can then supposedly control which of my Friends I can see updates from.
Except for Tom, whom I can’t get rid of with the “Edit Updates” functionality, because he’s not one of my Friends. So I guess that he’ll just keep on spamming me.
I wonder what his real actual Friends think about this. Maybe they all got options, so its fine.
In the meantime, I’ll just go to MySpace less and less.