I was asked to check out blockoo.com, which I did. In the process, I found a few interesting points about that website. So, I decided to do a review on it. I would like to caution my readers that blockoo.com is NSFW (not safe for work). You wouldn’t want your boss to catch you viewing a website that has a link that reads, “Meet the sexiest teenagers totally free iclick here!” or pictures of girls wearing nothing but bra and panties.
After some digging around, I found out that a typical message received on MSN Messenger that “promotes” the website looks like this:
hey!! you really have to check this site [website URL] it’s awesome, now you can see who blocked or deleted you :D!! try it right now (Y)
In the early days of operation, the [website URL] was inserted as http://www.blockoo.com/en/. However, MSN Messenger must have blocked/banned that URL from appearing in any conversation due to complaints on spamming. The URL was later changed to a TinyURL. Only recently (5th June 2007), the domain name blockadvise.com was purchased to replace the TinyURL (as shown as the screenshot in Freethinker’s blog).
From the screenshot below, you will notice that the website is infested with advertisements that links to an adult website. Considering that teenagers should make up the majority of the users of the website, the advertisements are highly inappropriate. Why I said teenagers should make up the majority of the users, you may ask? Well, who else gives a damn if anybody in their contact list blocked them?
After being pressured by potential users claiming the lack of confidence in the services of blockoo.com (due to the fact that it requests user’s username and password without a SSL certificate), a SSL certificate was bought on 5th June 2007.
Even though the SSL certificate is in place, it is not utilized at all. This is evident from the “spammed promotion” messages sent and the fact that accessing the website by entering http://www.blockoo.com does not automatically redirects the user to https://www.blockoo.com. Users need to access the https part of the website in order to have the data transmitted to be encrypted.
I hope this is a mistake and not an attempt to allow users to continue transmitting data without proper encryption.
Another “feature” of the website that I personally feel distasteful (also brought up by PsyCHZZZ) is the “MSN Messenger user signed in alert” advertisement as shown in the screenshot below. That is in fact an advertisement disguised to look and feel the way MSN Messenger alerts the user of a contact that has just signed in. I don’t think it is illegal, just bad karma (or whatever you call it).
There are two items in blockoo.com that I think might infringe the copyright of other companies. The first item is the Yahoo smiley icon beside the text “THIS SITE DOES NOT CHANGE YOUR NICK” as shown in the first screenshot above. The second item is the “MSN Messenger user signed in alert” advertisement as shown in the second screenshot above. Is it legal for blockoo.com to copy those (I assume) without permission from either Yahoo or MSN?
My final thoughts of blockoo.com…
It is a nice service to have. However, it started off on the wrong foot by choosing a wrong method to promote the website (ie.
spamming mass sending messages to the user’s contact list on behalf of the user). I believe that the majority of its users should be in their teens. Therefore, advertising adult websites in it is inappropriate.
Is this service really necessary? So what if someone did block you in their contact list? If they did, the problem could be either you or them. So what? Just move on. The world doesn’t end when someone decides to block you on their contact list.