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Joint Black List for Spamming Translators
Thread poster: Haluk Levent Aka

Haluk Levent Aka
Local time: 05:41
Japanese to Turkish
+ ...
May 27, 2013

Hi. I receive so many spam from translators everyday, I was wondering if anyone else has the same problem and would consider establishing a joint blacklist for spamming translators. It's simple. We'll contribute to that black list (with email addresses and names of spamming translators) and we'll never assign any work to them at our companies.

I'm launching this at my translation agency immediately but a joint attitude would have greater deterrence.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 04:41
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Define spam (sorry!) May 27, 2013

Haluk Levent Aka wrote:
I receive so many spam from translators everyday, I was wondering if anyone else has the same problem and would consider establishing a joint blacklist for spamming translators.


Before you go on, can you give a definition of this spam or a description of it, so that it can be distinguished from legitimate mails?


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 04:41
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Target the source May 27, 2013

Haluk Levent Aka wrote:
I receive so many spam from translators everyday, I was wondering if anyone else has the same problem and would consider establishing a joint blacklist for spamming translators.


If you want to stop the spam, or reduce it, rather find out what the source of the spam is. In other words, don't waste your time with the translators, who will likely send you their mail only once or only once in a blue moon, but try to find out what list you're on. Ask the translators where they got your address form. You may be able to get your name removed from it.


 

Haluk Levent Aka
Local time: 05:41
Japanese to Turkish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I tried that May 27, 2013

Samuel Murray wrote:

Haluk Levent Aka wrote:
I receive so many spam from translators everyday, I was wondering if anyone else has the same problem and would consider establishing a joint blacklist for spamming translators.


If you want to stop the spam, or reduce it, rather find out what the source of the spam is. In other words, don't waste your time with the translators, who will likely send you their mail only once or only once in a blue moon, but try to find out what list you're on. Ask the translators where they got your address form. You may be able to get your name removed from it.



Samuel Hi,

Your first question: I think spam has a pretty common definition... Any COMMERCIAL message, bulk or single message, that is sent unsolicitedly is spam. I am a En-Tr translator and I happen to own a translation agency (but in reality agency has their own processes - often they run them without my intervention). Now, I tell you what I mean by spam in my case: any message from any translator seeking a job opportunity in any language pair, especially in anything other than En and Tr... I get French to Punjabi translators applying to ME (wrong person) hoping to get some job from Tercumex (which specializes in TR, so wrong agency) located in Turkey (wrong country)... These messages come from a list that is not opt-in (as I never opt-in for any lists) and not opt-out (no unsubscribe link or anything). They appear as if they were sent individually (from a gmail or hotmail address "on behalf of" some other address)... So they're spam all right.

Your second question: I've been trying that but they don't share that piece of info unfortunately.


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:41
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Potential dangers May 27, 2013

I think such a list would be more a problem than a solution, after the damage done by spammer services, like bulk agency lists, etc.

- To a victim of frequent spam, translators sending unsolicited email to a reduced number of carefully selected agencies would feel the same as spammers.

- It would be hard to distinguish individual spammers from "services" offering bulk email to lists.

In my opinion, what we should do is simply fight spammers in our industry the same way any other spammers are being fought. I encourage you to find information in this sense, or ask your ISP about the best course of action.


 

Haluk Levent Aka
Local time: 05:41
Japanese to Turkish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I really don't care May 27, 2013

Unsolicited email is spam. If you think you're not sending spam when you narrow down your victims to a certain language pair, you're wrong. Often there are designated email addresses where a translator can apply and designated people who operate those designated email addresses - I am not one of them. To most translators it seems perfectly fine to send an unsolicited email to anyone working in or running or owning an agency!

[Edited at 2013-05-27 09:16 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-05-27 09:16 GMT]


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:41
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Take your own measures May 27, 2013

Although I entirely sympathise with your situation since I am in the same case, I think it is you who should find better ways of filtering your email, or should perhaps ask your ISP about how to fight this situation.

Although I would love to see less spam from translators in my inbox, I would not contribute to (or use) a blacklist made against fellow translators.

[Edited at 2013-05-27 09:33 GMT]


 

Marie-Helene Dubois  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:41
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Identity theft May 27, 2013

Hi Haluk,

I think that the main problem with setting up a blacklist would be that there is the potential to "name and shame" someone who is a victim of identity theft, further contributing to ruining their reputation through no fault of their own.

There have been plenty of threads recently identifying the same problem, one of which is:

http://www.proz.com/forum/scams/245750-being_sent_dozens_of_emails_daily_from_translators.html


You're definitely not the only one getting all these e-mails but it's likely that the permission and/or knowledge of the translator in question has not been obtained and that these e-mails are sent without their knowledge.
I can't help suspecting that this may have something to do with Languagemet or some other scammy "service" that thieves the identities of translators, or even asks them to pay for "blasting their CVs" (search for this phrase on google and on this forum and you'll see what I mean).

I'm sure that if you took a sample of these CVs, you'd find that the contact details were not correct for the translators they were purporting to be from.

It definitely is spam. It is highly unethical and I think also illegal to send unsolicited mails to someone without offering the option to opt-out of their mailing list and I realize that it can be frustrating too.

The trick is to find the culprit and try to stop them from doing this but not to set up a blacklist of translators. I don't think any translators would agree to this.


 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 05:41
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
I put them on my private spam filter May 27, 2013

Once Thunderbird knows the sender is defined as spam the mail will go automatically to the spam folder. But I noticed most of these people send only once, so a black list would not much use.
If I remember right collecting email-adresses of potential agencies and contacting them is one measure many a "how to start my translation business" guide recommend. Collections of translation agency outsourcer lists are on sale. These are the guys behind all this.


 

Shai Navé  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 05:41
Member
English to Hebrew
+ ...
Blacklists are never the most effective solution May 28, 2013

they just create additional administrative overhead and has the chance of including entities that do not deserve to be blacklisted.

I sympathize with your situation and understand your urgency to take an action. However, I don't think that a blacklist is the answer. As others have mentioned above a joint effort should be made to deal with the spammers.

I myself am only an independent translator and I do get such Spam from time to time, although not in the volume that you described with no clue how people have found me or why do they even assume I have "work" for them. A few months ago I have decided to reply, explaining the "spammer" that he or she were mislead by someone, and asking them how they ended up in my inbox? Despite my efforts the results were unsatisfactory: many of these replies were never answered, one confirmed case if identity theft, and some errors from email addresses that are no longer active. But I still think that this should be done by more people in order to identify the source(s) for this spam.

For example, some agencies have a 'Career' (bad choice of term on their part, but this is besides the point) link in their website, inviting translators to contact/spam them, so the first thing for an agency might be to remove that link and publish a clear policy about not accepting any unsolicited communication or offers from independent translators.
Then, all those agency list sellers should be required to switch to opt-in model. Furthermore, they should be required to send an email to any existing agency/entity in their list, as well as a confirmation email for any new "resource" they add to the list in the future, allowing anyone listed there to opt out.
The rest should be dealt like with any other never ending battle with Spam.

Also, not publishing contact information on the web, in webpages such as Proz profile, that are easily harvested by bots is always a good idea. A link to a contact form with some security/authentication measure should be preferred in my opinion.
Or in other words, some more attention should be given by both agencies and translators to their online identity security, in order to reduce the risk of Spam.

[Edited at 2013-05-28 01:08 GMT]


 

Germaine  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 22:41
English to French
+ ...
Welll... May 28, 2013

Samuel Murray wrote:
If you want to stop the spam, or reduce it, rather find out what the source of the spam is. In other words,... try to find out what list you're on.


You might want to start with this source:
http://www.proz.com/forum/marketing_for_translators/249175-blast_your_cv_to_16000_agencies_has_anyone_tried_it.html
(should it be for real!)


 

Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 08:11
English to Hindi
+ ...
Black lists never work May 28, 2013

The efforts involved in managing black lists are significant and I don't think any freelancer or even agencies have the time or the technical expertise to manage comprehensive blacklists.

The solution lies elsewhere.

Our body is a good example. Our body is constantly invaded by unwanted organisms, many of which cause deadly diseases. Our body does not operate on the principle of banning the entry of these unwanted organisms, because it knows through evolutionary wisdom that such a policy won't work.

It tackles the situation by building up its defences against the entry of the organisms - the skin, the hair, the hairs in the nose, the mucuous solution in the nose, the acids produced by the stomach, etc., which can be termed as the first line of defence, and above all the white blood cells and the antigens produced by the blood - the second line of defence - which eat up the gatecrashers who beat the first line of defence and enter our body.

Something on similar lines can tackle your spam problem. First of eliminate the cause of spam - if you have made your contact details publicly available anywhere - delete those instances. This would be your first line of defence.

The second line would be spam filters in your inboxes which automatically remove unwanted mail.

The third line would be temperament-based - remain unruffled if a spam or two gets across your lines of defence. Just ignore them or use the delete button on your email interface.


 
Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member because it was not in line with site rule
Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member because it was not in line with site rule

Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 22:41
English to Spanish
"Spam-sympathizers"? May 28, 2013

I have not read a single word of sympathy towards spam and/or spammers. What I have read are some very valid concerns regarding the possibility of "blacklisting" innocent people, among others, all coming from colleagues who also receive varying amounts of spam themselves.

 
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