Some of you may have noticed this, or something like it, in your Strava feed:

Screenshot 2018-10-30 at 16.06.04

I had a similar “discussion” in my Strava feed from another club – Regents Park Cyclists – a few days ago. The more revealing photo in that instance apparently depicted someone called “Brian”.  It goes without saying that we must assume that these come from hackers and/or pimps, and that the photo is no more likely to bear a true likeness to the git who posted it than the message is to reflect an honest yearning for a connection of human warmth.

As far as I can see, there’s nothing to stop anyone from joining any club on Strava and “starting a discussion”: the only remedy is to make clubs invitation only, which would be a shame. If we get more Anastasiia’s, that’s what I’ll do. For now, I’ve booted “her” sorry ass out of the club, even though it’s a futile gesture.

The serious issues behind this, beyond the huge ones of cyber/identity theft/fraud and human trafficking, do impact us directly in smaller ways. At the end of this year apps like Crickles will no longer be able to obtain the email addresses of their members from Strava – presumably because the abuse of this facility is already a problem. This is certainly an inconvenience.

I’ll write more about this, and about data policy on Crickles, in due course.

For now, be aware that the Strava Crickles club has no meaningful relationship to Crickles as you know it from this website and the Navigator. It’s simply a bulletin board with, as it happens, quite a different membership from “true” Crickles. Your data as seen on the Navigator is held securely on the Amazon Cloud (like Strava’s data) and the appearance of Anastasiia in your feed does not imply that it has been hacked.

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One thought on “Anastasiia is not one of us

  1. There was a spate of this some time ago and I reported it to Strava. It then seemed to stop. Recently – the last week or so I have received Kudos from a number of these (so called) young ladies (needless to say I’ve not clicked any response). I am in a number of Strava clubs (of my choosing and related to local cycling clubs etc) and a number of these have had comments from these people.

    I’m reporting it to Strava and I suggest others do the same so that they can take steps to block these people.
    Nick

    Liked by 1 person

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