Digsby Encounters The Dark Side Again

A while back I blogged about how Digsby had gone to the dark side, well with their most recent update they take another step in that direction. Today they introduced a new “feature” that allows: “Trending News: We’ve partnered with the folks at OneRiot to bring the latest trending news stories to your social feeds.”, in other words we put random spam in your feed.

Yes, this can be disabled by going Preferences > General & Profile and unchecking “Show trending news articles in social network feeds”, but that’s not really the point. Digsby continues to introduce features to increase their bottom line by auto-opting in all of their users without notifying them of the changes. How did they not learn their lesson from Facebook’s Beacon fiasco or even their own policy of automatically opting in users for their own for-profit research? I ask of you again Digsby if you are going to change the way your product work you need to explain it to the user and let them opt in or out. You’ve done this when you added features like achievements but you fail to do so when it comes to your bottom line. I ask you again please come back from the dark side.

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Digsby Come Back From The Dark Side

For many months now I have used an Instant Messaging client called Digsby. It allows you to connect to multiple different IM networks like AIM, Yahoo, Facebook, MSN, ICQ, Google Talk and a few others as well as your social networks like Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Recently they have changed over to the Dark Side. By this I mean they have added two revenue generating programs to their application.

  1. Installer Spyware – This allows you to optionally install different programs so those companies will pay Digsby for getting them installed. The optional software usually doesn’t play nice and typically adds nothing more than a loss of screen real estate to another annoying system hogging toolbar in your browser. There are several other ones that are offered. This model I can tolerate because if the user is smart enough they will figure out how to not install them in the first place or how to uninstall them if they were installed.
  2. Research Module – This allows digsby to user your computer and bandwidth to do pretty much whatever they want with it. Most likely be another pawn in some search engines indexing program. This one I find much more troubling because it uses your electricity and your bandwidth (remember bandwidth caps are coming kids) to make them money. I agree everyone needs money but this isn’t the right way to go about it. This needs to be added to the installer as an opt out program or better yet you could add a non evil model and have it process something cool like cancer research or mapping the human genome.

Digsby please fix these items and in a hurry. I have already opted out of your research program as I like my bandwidth and computer to myself, your probably the best IM client out there but if you continue to the dark side I will have to find an alternative.

For more information about Digsby IM Clients Dark Side:

Also checkout Digsby’s Explanation: http://blog.digsby.com/archives/693

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