So Auren Hoffman e-mailed me regarding a blog post he just did about men and women and social networking. This subsequently pointed to his ‘research data’ which he does not disclose the way it was acquired.
There are three names for this company (more details can be seen in this post). One of them UpScoop gets users to enter their user-name and passwords for all their social networks – then “upscoops” the contact information of their friends and ‘scrapes’ all data it can see by logging in as those users. It then creates a database keyed to e-mail addresses for those users. This is an “opt-out” system – everyone is in it until they opt out – basically the ‘credit rating’ like system for social networks.
Then what happens is campaigns and social movement sites are approached by Trust Fuse to run the e-mail addresses they gather from supporters or those who want more information against their giant data base of e-mail addresses and it returns information about the person – their ‘real name’ their ‘age’ their ‘profession’ or what other information they are collecting (they make a point of NOT collecting sexual orientation information – this makes me feel soooo much safer about this ‘opt-out’ system).
I have had a conversation with leaders of a major social movement building organization and they have been approached by RapLeaf/UpScoop/TrustFuse to pay to run their e-mail addresses through their API.
I don’t think this model is respectful of human dignity in the online world.