Members of TeamNetworks.Net have brought things to my attention or written to ask what I think is going on over at SodaHead now that they have shut down the site to member participation other than the voting on their polls anonymously.


There are numerous discussions going on all over the internet where SodaHeads have landed or posted in an attempt to expose the issues or keep groups of friends together. We have been very fortunate to have some of the best and nicest conservative SodaHeads come to our site. For that, we are deeply grateful and we hope we can provide the atmosphere that will make for a happy place to re-unite. I feel a need to open up a discussion about it for members to vent.


I am not and never was associated with SodaHead other than as a member like everyone asking these questions but possibly I can offer insight to things that might help in the understanding of what is being observed. Based on years of building and maintaining interactive websites, I've formed opinions about some of the questions and concerns, or else I can make educated guesses about technical explanations. I have no hard evidence that I can show you. It is only from my observations and understanding of the possibilities of how such websites run or can be run, that I am making comments about the following.


1. The leader boards continue to change and members that haven't been on in ages are being promoted to top positions


2. Members are being shown as logged in when they can't log in.


3. People are getting mails from SodaHead


4. Numerous fake profiles on SodaHead


IMHO - There are programs that can be written to automate anything you see on a website that could cover the goings on of everything on this list. There are also times that changes to codes or server settings have unexpected repercussions to other parts of coding and if this was a sudden decision with the changes made prior to testing, the unexpected goings on could either be intentional or accidental.


1. Leaderboards - It is possible the Leaderboards were always running on auto pilot and never reflected anything real especially if the leaders seemed to always be mostly the same members or those who worked for the site secretly or not.  A code may have been introduced to show activity there for the purpose of new visitors to make it look like something is going on or to keep previous members watching the site. Every site needs hits to stay alive and to keep their rankings in search engines and other site grading services. During this change over generating more hits could be critical. Or, it could be a repercussion from code changes, but this one would be a very odd result, however in coding conflicts odd results are always presenting themselves.


2. Log Ins - This could be on auto pilot to make it appear to visitors that there is activity. Or, it could be that to facilitate the vote counts being higher, the staff or a robot is logging in as members to vote on things. No one has to join to vote anymore so this is not reflected back on profiles still visible to date but it might offer a quicker way than entering via various ips to stack polls. It would seem to be an odd approach technically, when they could conceivable enter any number of votes they want on a poll but it remains a possibility. No one except SodaHead knows how much of what was ever recorded in polls was a reflection of reality to start with.


3. Mails - There are several things that come to mind here including staff messing with ex members they didn't like but I will give them the benefit of the doubt and say that these mails could have been queued up and it may be just taking a long time to disperse them. This could happen due to cloud servers being shut down, or moved. There could also be less bandwidth available for sending out mails due to server changes. Delayed mails on auto responders is a common issue for sites that don't have enough ram or swapping capacity to push out messages instantaneously. It would take a good understanding of the various levels of command and control in deeper layers of the site than just the visible software interface to really grasp the variety of technical possibilities but there are many.


4. Fake Profiles - I could probably write a book about this but I'll keep it as short as possible. There are numerous programs in existence or that are easy to write in coding for signing up and even in some cases filling out member profiles. It is a rare larger network type of site that doesn't start out or maintain itself with fake members. (I'm happy to tell you we are not one of those sites!) I am in several website owner and admin groups where this is a near daily discussion in forums. While internet users are generally in the dark about it, website managers are using it daily all over the internet.


One of the most visited blogs I wrote on SodaHead back when they had blogs, was about the fact that you don't know and can't know who is real on a website or if a profile represents who it says they are. This is still true and possibly even more true today now that the types of programs and uses of such programs have grown tremendously over the years. There are even programs that can vote, post and comment on auto pilot ran by a robot. Add the nuts in the mix who get their kicks off of creating multiple profiles for what ever reasons, such as to have conversations with themselves, sway opinions, attack other members and so on.


There is another element of this fakery and that is the staff or a sub-contractor who is paid to develop fake profiles in ways that may include filling out complex profile information and in establishing character development to make profiles look more genuine. This can be used to make a site look like it has more authentic members, for content generation, for manipulation of results, for propaganda, for targeting, for spying or even for attacking. We also know that the government engages in these tactics on sites to spy and influence. There are many articles to be found on this and in the government sub-contractor bidding sites the job of creating such codes has been observed over the years.


I doubt there are many SodaHeads who aren't well aware of how rampant the fake profiles were on SodaHead. Someone you might have thought was a very good friend, could have been one of the fake profiles. I can't for legal reasons mention names or go into identifying details, but I will give you a general example of one member who also had media talent that allowed them to fake voices. I heard of many who swore their friends were real because they talked to them on the phone. These same "friends" were profiles which I established to my own complete satisfaction as fakes operated by this particular SodaHead member.


This person took fakery a step further in some cases by building websites pretending to be the fake profiles on SodaHead. Often these sites were traps set to send someone particular a link to a site where they would capture that person's ip and thereafter always be able to identify them by ip. I visited one such site and later when investigating the real person behind the fake's website, they showed up on my Facebook page the very next day asking to be a friend. This is someone I had by then blocked on SodaHead and any such request out of the blue was out of the question. The friend request was merely a signal to say, I know you were checking me out. It was just another validation of the intent of the use of such full character development in either manipulative deception or data mining.


I also caught this person loading transparent gifs in comments on soda head that contained dangerous code but that is an article for another day. I have an opinion about whether I think this person was employed by the government, worked for SodaHead, is a criminal or just a nut job but I will keep it to myself because I have no evidence that I am willing to share to make my case. In a way it doesn't matter. The very fact of knowing this kind of extensive fake profile operation is possible, will hopefully be enough to open eyes.


Data mining is the number one way to make money through the internet. We don't do it here which is why we offer members ways to help our site financially. With nothing more than your ip, you might be shocked to discover the massive amount of information gathered about you already in existence being bought, sold and traded around the internet. In most cases especially the larger sites know your name, address, phone number, what businesses you own or have owned and anything in public records. They also probably know your online purchases, the sites you visit, and possibly even what school your children attend and other more disturbing details such as that.


Even for clicking the wrong link and hitting a site for a few seconds, your data may be referenced in ways that makes that site money. This is why I suggest to use an ip mask or browse using Tor. Why hand out your information freely to those who will capitalize on it?


I hope this helps in your understanding of what was and is possibly happening over at SodaHead and all over the internet. Take care out there. The internet can be a very confusing and dangerous place to be!


Copyright 2015 Wanda Hope Carter all rights reserved no duplication, copying, screen shots, framing, downloading or publishing in any manner without express written permission. Sharing this article by link is permitted. Other copyrights may apply.

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Gregory Alan of Johnson
It's hard for me to fathom commerce allowing such fiction to take place and rewarding it, even though the commerce system itself is fiction (military script in international bankruptcy) with the BC's of the populace backing it under non-disclosure to the same. Maybe this is a microcosm of a much bi...
  • June 19, 2015
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Wanda Hope Carter
I think you are onto something Greg. Also when I was writing this, I was thinking about the recent celebrity fakes like Bruce Jenner and Dolezal. In this way too, I think they are a snap shot of a much bigger picture. Online, people can pretend to be anything they want, and websites can pretend to b...
  • June 19, 2015
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Mark Bailey is online.
I learned a lot over the years with your words, guidance and direction. May you have the strength to keep this site operating.
  • June 19, 2015
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Wanda Hope Carter
Aw Mark, you have been such a sweet friend and it has been a real pleasure to help you and others who were open to what I could share on these topics. I'm so glad it was beneficial to you. And thank you too for your well wishes. As always I appreciate the support. (And prayers - lots of prayers! )
  • June 19, 2015
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GodAlwaysWins
but Wanda; I thought Tor was compromised
  • June 19, 2015
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Wanda Hope Carter
Tor compromise - I too have read that gov agencies have been able to bust the Tor system but what is confusing is that the use of the word Tor often times represents an entire system. Here, I am only talking about the use of the Tor browser. When you log on through a Tor browser, which operates off ...
  • June 19, 2015
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Angelina
I never heard of anyone going to such lengths to make up fake profiles! That's crazy!
  • June 19, 2015
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Randall Covey, Russian Hacker
You must not have been on SH. It was a "special" place, to say the least.
  • June 19, 2015
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Angelina
Nope I never heard of it until I saw a few people talking about it here. It sounds like I'm glad I wasn't on there. LOL
  • June 19, 2015
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Randall Covey, Russian Hacker
LOL! Good call.
  • June 19, 2015
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Wanda Hope Carter
I wouldn't trade the education I got there for anything, but it is a lesson I wish I hadn't needed to know. lol
  • June 19, 2015
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Randall Covey, Russian Hacker
Cool on you, Saf. Well done.
  • June 19, 2015
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Wanda Hope Carter
Thanks
  • June 19, 2015
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Rocky
Good information. SodaHead....hmmmmmm Somewhat like a cesspool.
  • June 19, 2015
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Wanda Hope Carter
lol so true...
  • June 19, 2015
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GodAlwaysWins
wow; as Linda says; "whole cultures based on a lie"
  • June 19, 2015
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Wanda Hope Carter
Yes! And it is psychologically damaging to those who are victimized by the fakes. At some point a level of paranoia may set in that is lifelong. It's sad and I absolutely detest the concept. This is one reason I introduced myself to SodaHeads in another blog. I don't want any air of deception going ...
  • June 19, 2015
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