yaari_logoI first wrote about Yarri on October 31, 2007 at Profy.com. To this day, I still receive comments from readers who are disillusioned with Yarri.com and its spamming antics, after they have joined that is. Partially based on the latter and more so due to the following email that I received from one of the founders of Yarri; Prerna Gupta, Chief Executive Officer for Yaari.com, I decided to revisit the topic.

Dear Allan,

I wanted to address the issue that you have written about on your blog (http://profy.com/2007/10/31/yaari-social-network-or-international-scam/), regarding Yaari’s invitation procedure. I know it might seem to you that we have been following our invitation procedure continuously, which has been used by many of the world’s largest social networking sites, with a disregard for the people who are not accustomed to it. However, this is not true. We have taken the process offline repeatedly in an attempt to understand what types of people might be adversely affected by it and tweak it accordingly. You’ll note that the vast majority of the people we reach (>99%) do not have any issues with our sign-up procedures, and we continue to improve on them everyday to help minimize the extent to which we reach people who are not familiar with this type of sign-up process.

Finally, I wanted to request you to please remove Parag’s name and contact information from your site (there is a comment on your post that lists his name and email address), as he is not actively involved with Yaari and has no bearing on our procedures. I humbly request that you not falsely accuse others. Any email sent to his email addresses regarding Yaari will not be read.

Best,
Prerna

Dear Ms. Gupta,

While it has been some time since I received your letter of concern in respect to my article on Yaari I have not forgotten you.

First, I would like to thank you for taking the time to contact me directly in respect to my article I wrote on Yaari on October 31, 2007 with your concerns for which following is my response.

In respect to your issue, you have/had about my original article and your invitation procedures, specifically where in you note about your invitation procedure being the same one used by many of the world’s largest social networking sites, I would like to point out the obvious. While it is true many if not the majority, do ask for an email address during the membership process, they DO NOT request/insist on being provided with the email account password as well, as Yarri does. Furthermore, where you note that you have repeatedly taken the above process offline to understand what type of people may be affected the only changes I have seen was your attempt to perfect the harvesting mechanism for potential member’s email contacts for spamming purposes by ensuring the member must provide both an existing email address and the password for same. Based on the latter I suggest you check out the following link. http://www.spamlaws.com/state/summary.shtml

In respect to your figures of 99% of your membership being satisfied with the process, I respectfully challenge those numbers on the basis that A) many of those you have spammed are either unaware of what you have done or B) they are too ashamed to admit it or C) they do not have the information needed to file a complaint (in your case as a US Citizen the links is http://www.ftc.gov/spam/ )

In respect to your request to remove Parag’s name and contact information from what you suggested is my site I would like to advise you the link you provided is in fact for Aalaap.blog by Aalaap Ghag. My article was published at Profy.com

Prerna, I stand by my actions and the information I provided. While you are, perhaps, providing a seemingly desirable service, the fact remains you are abusing your powers by taking advantage of both existing and potential members with your spam policy. (Asking for and ensuring anyone desiring to join provides you with an email address and pass word which contrary to your policy of not retaining said passwords, you obviously do. How else would Yaari be able to send unsolicited invitations?)

I would also like to point out what I view as a contradiction of your membership terms of use as follows:

Your terms state that a member must be 13 years of age or older.” YAARI LLC TERMS OF SERVICE: ONLY USERS WHO ARE 13 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER MAY REGISTER FOR YAARI.” That contravenes, as I decipher, it the following: section C) Member Conduct: 14 Members shall not provide material that exploits people under the age of 18 in a sexual or violent manner,

    or solicits personal information from anyone under 18

.

As stated, a member must be 13 years of age to join. When you join, you must provide personal information such as city of residence, gender, personal email address and password for that email address so Yarri can send out invitations to all the contacts listed in that account. That then violates your rule wherein it states, “Members shall not provide… or solicit personal information from anyone under 18 based on the fact Yaari is soliciting email addresses from individuals under the age of 18 for the sole purpose of soliciting membership to others under the age of 18 years of age.

Further to the latter, I would like to draw your attention to the following and ask how you can justify sending commercial emails to anyone under the age of 18 years of age and not call it solicitation as outlined in your own site policy in respect to the age limitations.

E) Notice Regarding Commercial Email
MEMBERS CONSENT TO RECEIVE COMMERCIAL E-MAIL MESSAGES FROM YAARI, AND ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT THEIR EMAIL ADDRESSES AND OTHER PERSONAL INFORMATION MAY BE USED BY YAARI FOR THE PURPOSE OF INITIATING COMMERCIAL E-MAIL MESSAGES.

Furthermore, Rule #1 states: “Members shall not engage in any activity that constitutes harassment, including, but not limited to, excessive repetition when listing a person as a referral.”

Do you not consider the fact Yaari sends unsolicited email invitations on behalf of the membership that you as the Chief Executive Officer and Yaari as a whole are in fact again violating the anti-harassment rule with repeated invitations to contacts harvested from the various member email accounts.

I could spend hours on the topic of Yaari and the pros and more so the cons of Yaari but you already know what they are so I will consider my response to be a more than sufficient response to your original note.

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