Update: A few people have told me that doing this will result in you marking your own contacts as spam. Gmail is actually smart enough to prevent this from happening. Since having marked CC’s Quechup emails as spam, I have received email from him numerous times. Same with Rich Palmer. So, do it with impunity. (The original post follows.)
I’ve gotten six emails this morning, all from this new service Quechup, a social network that they claim is “sweeping the globe.” It takes “viral” to a whole new level, spreading without permission, spamming people’s contact list without warning.
If you haven’t gotten any emails from these people, you will soon. CC accidentally had it sent to his whole contacts list (which in Gmail, is everyone you’ve ever emailed). If even one of those people does the same, the cycle starts over again (and again, and again).
The worst part about this it takes advantage of trust (in this case, the trust built by CC) to spread. Had I not read his post, it might have spread through me next. And so on. (Chris Penn has labeled this a trustvirus.)
So if you use Gmail, take a quick second to mark Quechup emails as spam. Do it now, so that Google will figure out that we don’t want them. With any luck, they’ll actually mark them as spam for every Gmail user. New, “viral” social networks will learn their lesson then, won’t they?