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Think before you retweet

It has become a standard practice to promote new cool online services by sending out invites to a lucky few users. They in turn get to invite some more and soon you’ve created a buzz online with people who are desperate to be on the bleeding edge, doing whatever it takes to get an invite. The latest craze concerns Google Wave (no, I have not been invited yet). Everyone in my Twitter stream seems to be screaming after invites to the degree that they’ve lost all sense of judgement.

On Oct 1st I tweeted “I’m just waiting for someone to use this invite craze for spam purposes #invitefatigue” and I didn’t have to wait long. There are hundreds of people currently retweeting this information:

“RT @waveinvite Just requested my Google Wave Invite! Get yours at http://waveinvite.co.cc”

The problem is that the site contains adult material and does not hand out Google Wave invites at all. In fact, the site states that it has 293 invites to give out, but that has been the case all day.

It’s amazing how many people that let themselves be fooled by this (and I admit I retweeted a similar post earlier, not this one however). The link to waveinvite.co.cc is currently the most retweeted link on Twitter. According to Tweetmeme, the item has been retweeted as many as 2789 times, and counting.

googlewave-invites

How did you suppose that you would be sent these invites in the first place when you did not supply any email address? As users of sites like Twitter, we need to be a little more suspicious to schemes like this or we run the risk of actually spreading some seriously bad stuff. The next time you see some get rich quick scheme on Twitter, please take a moment to check it out before you retweet. Do a Google search on the story, check how many others that are tweeting. Maybe you will save yourself the embarrasement of tweeting links to adult sites.

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