Enough With The Opt-Out BS, Klout

Prisoner of Klout

Klout sucks. Not because of what they’re trying to do, in measuring your online influence (although I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a fan of that approach for a number of reasons).

Nor do they suck because they’ve engendered a mindset among people to try and grab Klout Perks, based on that perception of influence. Heck, you’ll always have folks that do nothing but want everything for free, so may as well have somewhere for them to spend their time and energy.

No, they suck because they’re stuck in the mindset that opt-out is better than opt-in.

Meaning, they don’t give you a choice when it comes to having a “profile” of you. It doesn’t matter if you sign up to the service or not, or whether you connect your accounts to grow your Klout score.

Because Klout automatically gives you a basic profile anyway.

No permission – there you are, as bright as day online, with whatever score they deem you fit to have based on their perception of you.

Note: I understand that by accepting the Terms of Service on the likes of Twitter, etc, your information can be shared. I’m not sold on that being turned into a full-on profile on another site, though.

I’ll admit, when Klout first came out, I was curious as to how it worked. As someone who needs to connect clients with perceived influencers for outreach and promotional programs, it seemed an interesting way to find those that could help.

Then the flaws appeared.

Just using my account as an example, I recently disconnected all my accounts from Klout, with the exception of Twitter as it wouldn’t let me disconnect that. As a result, my Klout “score” (or influence) dropped from 75 to 63.

So, even though I was still active on the networks I’d disconnected; even though I was sharing the same amount of information, and interacting just as much – if not more – on blogs, Klout felt I was less “influential”.

What they were really saying, though, is that because I wasn’t participating by their rules, I was less influential. Never mind the fact I was still getting “reactions”, if you like, for my interactions online – if Klout didn’t see them, they never happened.

Because I’ve written a fair few times about my lack of “trust” in how Klout perceives influence online, I thought it’d be hypocritical to keep an account there. So I went to delete, which is where the fun began.

I followed the instructions on their site to delete my account, and received an email from Lan at their contact centre advising my account had been removed. This was almost a week ago, and I was advised it could take a day to clear their system.

A week later, and I’m still there, even though I have no desire to be part of the Klout game anymore, nor do I wish to be “on display” on their site, since I (initially) never gave permission.

This is where the opt-out bullshit needs to stop.

It’s more than 10 years since Seth Godin wrote about Permission Marketing, and yet here we are, still being added to things we didn’t have a say in. Fair enough, I added details to Klout, but the initial permission wasn’t there. As it isn’t for anyone.

The Standard for Online and Internet Influence Klout

And to remove yourself, you have to go through hoops to get it done? That’s crap.

It’s not just Klout. Facebook is as bad, as are many other social networks. I had the same issue with Hashable, and got into a debate on Twitter with that service’s founder, who decreed, “Hashable’s not the kind of service people leave, hence there’s no need for an option to delete your account.” (This option was later added.)

Yes. There. Is.

You don’t add people to something and not ask them their permission (unless there’s some legal reason to do so). Especially when that information is there for anyone to see, and make a snap judgement on.

For example, some companies are using Klout scores in the hiring process. If someone has a low score because they don’t know they’re on Klout, and get passed by for a job even though they’re the best qualified, that makes your system screwy (it also doesn’t say much for the research angle of the company in question).

So, please, Klout, and anyone else that puts people onto their platform then makes it almost impossible to get off – be smart. Make it easy to leave. I was able to delete my Empire Avenue account with a single mouse click – why should it be any more difficult than that?

After all, it’s not like you’re just looking to have numbers to show off about your platform to possible investors. That wouldn’t be a reason to keep people on there that want to leave.

Right?

Update 26.10.2011: Seems the link to remove yourself from Klout is now showing an “invalid request”. You can try this one instead. 

Note: This post is about Klout and its practices. I have nothing but good words for its CEO Joe Fernandez, who’s always responded to criticism about the service and looked at ways to improve.

~ Update: As of November 1st 2011, you can now delete your Klout account

image: remuz

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Comments

  1. ThePaulSutton says

    One more reason they suck, sir, is the recent integration of Instagram. How the hell can they integrate a platform that’s available on 1 single device? So if I use a droid instead of an iPhone, I’m less influential. am I? Tosh…

  2. Neicolec says

    Wow. I didn’t even realize I would be out there whether I created an account or not. I think you’re right that we should have the ability to opt out. Or better yet, have to opt in. When companies are making hiring decisions on the basis of the app, I think Klout is obligated to at least let people choose to keep their data private, I.e., choose not to play. Especially since many of us are not confident in the scoring mechanism.

  3. says

    If people are hiring based on Klout (which is ridiculous because the system can be gamed, but that’s besides the point), then what happens if they look up a profile and it doesn’t exist or is private vs. a profile that is public and has a high score? The same thing would essentially happen – the company might assume you don’t have enough of a score to even rank, so they’d go with the other person anyway vs. not going with you because your score was 10 and theirs was 75.

    There are a few things I find interesting about their system, like having people give you a +K in what they think you are influential about. Plus seeing the people I influence vs. the people who influences me and their interests, in combination with the +K’s gives me an overall idea of what people see me as – SEO, social media, blogger, etc. So for someone who has no idea what their niche is, maybe they could use that to figure out how people see them and decide whether that aligns with their goals.

    Klout isn’t the only service that is like this. PeerIndex is another one that is similar and works with any account you plugin regardless of whether they signed up for it or not. And really any service that allows someone to pull stats on another user’s account (Twitter Grader, Twitter Counter, etc.) essentially is the same thing.

    It all boils down to the fact that a Twitter account and it’s information is public (except for the people that make their updates private, although their follower / following count is still available), so any service that Twitter allows to use their API is game to using and interpreting that public information as they choose. So really, wouldn’t Twitter be to blame for allowing a user’s data to be out there to be measured, or the user themselves for simply having an account on a public site?

  4. says

    Yep. I remember reading when Klout first made itself over about how “everybody has Klout” and thought, everybody has a spleen, too. Want to compare yours to someone else’s? Want to be forced to compare yours to someone else’s? I could have used a different analogy, but you get my drift.

    I’m only connected to it via Twitter as well, and after reading your experience I get the feeling my Klout score won’t rise beyond a certain point unless I hook it up to FB and LI. It doesn’t seem to “get in” to the founders that this standard isn’t much of a standard at all.

  5. says

    I use Klout scores more as a metric tool to determine if someone is socially active for potential networking (and general reach out) purposes. Other than that, I don’t see much use in it.

  6. says

    Love this – I am always so irritated when I sign up to test out a site and see if it’s something I want to use and then it’s a pain in the tush to leave! Seriously, one click is all it should take to delete an account.

  7. says

    What he said!!! YES, awesome, Danny! I never actually thought of opt-ing out – but Klout aggrevates the H-E-double hockey sticks out of me!

    Its terrible that things like Klout could be costing people jobs (at anytime, but more importantly in this economy!). We all know they have errors, errors shouldnt cost someone a job when there is now way to prove or disprove the errors.

    Take for example, Klout says I am most influential on “Photography”….um ok, someone looking to hire us as web developers might scratch their head and move onto someone else! I know ZERO about photography other than loving great pics of my kids!

    Or, another big glitch I hate is who they say “influences” me – I have had some that have churned my stomach! I dont want to be associated with that, I should get to choose who influences me, not be told someone I never heard of does, nor should Klout tell a potential customer or future employer who influences me. You could loose business based on that too!

    Klout should not be able to use your like-ness or anyone else’s to boost their service (even though its a free service). Our likeness is helping them get all these sponsors who are giving “Klout Perks” so they are exploiting all of us for their gain!

  8. says

    @sydcon_mktg That’s the annoying thing, Jennifer – there seems to be no rhyme nor reason to a lot of what they (or platforms similar to them) do.

    I was speaking at an event organized by my friend devin mathias , and one of the people in the audience mentioned a family member had been searching for something on sheep (as they’re a shepherd, or something like that), and my “Klout sheep expert” video with dino dogan came up in the search results.

    How can you take something like that seriously, when an obvious piss-take gets precedence over genuinely qualified people?

    Madness.

  9. says

    Oh wow. I thought they had deleted my account a year or so ago. Seeing it still up there is absolutely incensing. If you say the CEO is a good guy, Danny, I’ll take your word for it, but having no say in my likeness being displayed – and my value as a human being suggested – without my express, written permission, is flat-out wrong.

  10. says

    @Brian Driggs A year? See, now more than ever I see it as nothing more than a numbers game for investors, and to heck with how the users are played. And that’s kinda sad.

  11. says

    @Ari Herzog I thought that post was hella quick, and thanks for continuing the conversation with some solid points about business examples.

    More need for a simpler approach to rebuttal.

  12. DevinMathias says

    @DannyBrown It was simultaneously one of the funniest & most ridiculous things I’ve experienced at a speaking event… Soooooo very random that Laura found Danny to be a sheep expert…. Sooooo equally (if not more so) embarrassing that Klout actually considers itself legitimate when examples of such exist.

  13. says

    @KirstenWright Exactly! Sure, a record of employment or legal papers, etc, need to be maintained for a set period of time.

    But seriously, not being able to easily leave a social platform when you wish to? That’s bogus.

  14. says

    Not really that interested in Klout but I am shocked at the number of sites out there that collect information that I had no idea was even really out there. I tend to play along, that I way I figure I am at least in control of what is pushed out there.

  15. says

    @DannyBrown Oy vey. It would seem Klout is not completely to blame for this situation (at least in my case, anyway). Logging into Twitter, I saw Klout still had access from back when I signed up.

    While I can see how this might be partly my fault, here, I still think it’s shady they would so cheerfully remove your account without severing that tie themselves (or at least mentioning your responsibilities to do so).

    I’ll be sending another request to see about having any and all mention of me permanently removed from their system. It’s one thing to come across incomplete contact info on one of those directory sites, but to find myself ranked like that just makes me steaming mad. What an inconsiderate thing to do.

  16. says

    @Brian Driggs Here’s the thing, Brian – I removed access from Twitter to Klout, and the profile remained. So, not as painless as that, it would seem…

  17. says

    @DannyBrown It’s probably best I don’t hear things like that, Danny. I just sent a very friendly, polite email to them requesting 100% removal of my likeness from their site. Just because I don’t believe in what they’re doing doesn’t mean this was intentional – Klout is not out to get me. So I hope they honor my request promptly.

    And, to be fair, assuming they do wipe me from their servers, I will be among the first to reply to this discussion reporting their doing right by me.

  18. says

    @Kristi Hines It’s that exact reason (whether you have a profile or not) that should make companies do more than base a large part of their hiring process based on an influence score, Kristi, whether that’s Klout or any other platform.

    The +K thing is a bit of a misnomer as well, since that can be gamed (and is), making people influential about the craziest of things, and completely skewing results and decisions based on these results.

    As I mention in the post, I agree that by signing the ToS of a platform like Twitter, or Facebook, etc, you allow your information to be shared. But that normally means to advertisers or marketers looking to direct ads toward you on that platform – not have a complete profile about you set up on a third-party site.

    You only need to look at the groups currently on Facebook, where teens are voted on whether they’re “bang-worthy” or not, and there’s no permission given for the images to be used in these groups.

    Using information is one thing; taking advantage of it, and then not allowing an easy out afterward, is another. Which is where social platforms need to improve. A lot.

  19. says

    @Neicolec If it’s something where there’s basically a profile of you whether you like it or not, and that can lead to decisions being made on you, then I agree, Neicole, the systems in place need to improve.

    Heck, even credit agencies have better options to correct or remove information about you. Maybe the likes of Klout, etc, could learn from them…

  20. says

    OK @DannyBrown is it gone yet? You still have a Klout score when I check it Hootsuite… I have to say that if the Opt Out Bullshit doesn’t get self-regulated people are going to start wanting something like the Do Not Call List or whatever they call that one that I signed up for to stop getting those pre-qualified credit offers. Sure, we put a lot more information out there today than in the recent past, but I do like at least a bit of choice in defining where ‘out there’ is.

    As for using Klout or anything similar as a qualification in a hiring decision? Go ahead, folks do that. I don’t want to work with you anyway. I’d rather be out herding sheep (which, by the way, is the only +K I ever gave out.) I’d also say that if you’re using something like that in the hiring process make sure you’re either checking with your attorney or saving money to pay them when you get sued.

    Let us know how you get this resolved so I can do the same without the aggravation – you deal with that better than I do, mate.

  21. says

    Ahh, it’s like Hotel California… you can come, but you can never leave. It’s a crying shame that some are using Klout to assess merit. Really? Yes, dubious vetting at best. How about real influence measures that are transactional and can be documented (e.g., affect action of others based on a point-of-view, experience, etc.). Been doing influence methodology this way in pharma… identifying the real key opinion leaders nominated by their clinician peers, independently and unbiased. Real influence is a lot of heavy transactional data lifting and analysis. That’s how they do it in the Big Leagues. Automation (Klout) is a farm team.

  22. says

    @SocialMoves Exactly, Glenn. It’s a quick solution for folks that don’t want to invest in real research to get the results or information they need.

    Nothing wrong with that, per se, but at least offer the option of getting out of that approach in a way that’s much simpler than it is now.

  23. says

    I’m not sure if this should feel embarrassing or what, but I never even heard of Klout until now and after reading this I wasn’t about to sign up just to see where they pigeonholed me. I know that social media has some value, but it seems to be a little mysterious just how that value translates into the real world (unless that is the real world and I just haven’t figured it out yet).

  24. says

    I noticed a similar drop when I disconnected everything but Twitter. My numbers were already far smaller than yours (I have no influence in the area of herding sheep), but it seems flawed that a person’s ‘influence’ is based entirely on Klout’s ability to access their data. If a company wants to offer swag based on such a thing, that’s one thing. (It’s probably not the wisest marketing move, but whatever floats their boat.) But to base hiring decisions on such a flawed metric makes no sense at all.

    I also noticed that my Klout score will, from time to time, retroactively change. For example, say I go there today and my score is 32 (it was 40 before I disconnected Facebook, LinkedIn, and Foursquare, but now stands at 32), then I check back next week and see on the graph that the score for August 25 is now 28. I presume this happens because of changes to the algorithm, but it adds to the case for not relying on Klout as a metric for any real business purpose.

  25. says

    @DannyBrown@sydcon_mktgdevin mathiasdino dogan Jennifer, I share many of your nitpicks with Klout… right now they just don’t annoy me enough to make me want to opt out. Some of my influencers have been dead wrong, and at one point I was allegedly knowledgable about cars… so yeah, there’s room for improvement. I’m still waiting to be able to link my sports teams’ rankings in there, then I might take it more seriously. Geaux Tigers.

  26. says

    I agree, this sucks. The fact that you have to jump through 29 ring of hellfire hoops to opt OUT of something you never expressly opted into in the first place, that’s total crap. FWIW.

  27. says

    @CarlThress Maybe I can ask for my sheep expertise to be transferred over to you, mate? 😉

    See, that’s the thing – how can you suddenly be less influential, just because you’re not on Klout’s radar (or anyone else’s)? Let’s say you actually become *more* influential, and cause 1,000 people to donate $100 each to a charity just by a single tweet, or Facebook update, etc.

    You’ve just raised $100,000 for a charity, become hugely influential at cause marketing via social media, and yet you don’t get recognized for that because it’s not on Klout’s algorithm?

    That’s why it’s warped.

  28. says

    @DannyBrown Unfortunately, they don’t really specify who they can allow to use information. So while you can assume it’s just advertisers and marketers (which is bad enough), it really does open the door for anyone to be able to use it. Especially when the network builds an API that says “here’s how to pull everyone’s information for whatever you need.”

    I think we need an opt-out on the network basis – instead of having to opt-out of Klout and every other network that comes out of the wood works, we need to have an opt-out on Twitter itself that says no, don’t let another site besides yours use my information.

    Of course, that might even mean closing yourself from using anything that isn’t Twitter but uses the Twitter API like Twitter management tools like HootSuite, because even their service grabs a user’s information, adds on their Klout score, and then adds in an Insights tab that links your Twitter to other social accounts.

  29. says

    @DannyBrown Much obliged on the sheep expertise. One never knows when that might come in handy. :)

    You’re absolutely right about things getting missed in Klout’s algorithm. The idea behind Klout is an interesting one, but how often I tweet really shouldn’t play such a major role in deciding how influential I am. If anything, tweeting too much may well have the opposite effect, as people are going to start tuning me out. And then how truly influential can I be?

    I remember Mark Schaefer writing about how his Klout score went down because he went on vacation and stopped tweeting for a few days. I also remember seeing many examples of spambots with very high Klout scores because all they do is tweet incessantly.

    Measurements like Klout are fun diversions, but that’s all they’ll ever really be. Influence is far too subjective for that kind of quantification.

  30. says

    Are you a spokesperson for Klout?

    I’ve become a ladies man now that I have Klout score; it showed up on my HootSuite acct so I know it has to be real. I tell the ladies I have one and you would have thought I was Danny Brown or something…..like a magnet.

    I know it, I see it, but don’t pay much attention to it. If I’m calling on ABC Plumbing and they are throwing me out the door until I just happen to mention my Klout score, then I’ll be impressed.

    Whereas you might want your site to have some stickiness to it; probably not a good thing to have a service/tool that won’t let you disconnect. Hmmmm…….

  31. says

    @DannyBrown Just got a reply.

    Apparently, even though my account is deleted and gone, I still need to click on some gear icon next to something or other in my account. I should also disconnect Twitter and make sure I set my social accounts to private.

    Nevermind my Twitter account has been set to private going on a year at this point. My using social media (dare I say it) socially somehow gives Klout license to use my likeness, name, and personal information in the promotion of their service without my consent? I don’t think so.

    So, assuming Klout proves completely disinterested in respecting individuals requests to opt out of non-consentual promotional materials, then what?

  32. says

    It’s the same with all of these “influence” measurement services. I can’t tell you the number of times people have “bought shares” of me on Empire Avenue, and I’ve never even cared to look at their website.

    Besides, let’s be honest. We’re all just upset that Justin Bieber has a perfect 100 and none of us will ever catch up.

  33. says

    To take it a step further, I really wonder what Klout’s legal strategy is and what advice it has been given.

    Can someone’s Klout score constitute a form of libel? They are aggregating public information, but then they are making a judgment call about what that means and publishing it publicly.

    When someone doesn’t get a job and is told “you were our top choice but your Klout score is too low” will that constitute damages? Can Klout be held responsible?

    Obviously, legal questions are, in the end, technical questions. If there are any attorneys, particularly U.S. based, in this community it would be interesting to hear their thoughts.

  34. says

    @adamtoporek

    Uh-oh, Adam. I hadn’t thought of that, but that’s Klout’s goal, isn’t it? To get us to make decisions (at best, judge at worst) concerning others using that score. That would make anyone mad enough to sue if they sat and thought it through like you just did.

  35. kehutchinson says

    Just for the record, I haven’t had a spleen for the past two years… and I’ve been just fine without it! I wonder if the same could be said for a Klout score? @ShakirahDawud

  36. says

    @Brian Driggs The fact they make it so difficult to leave says a hell of a lot about their goals, mate, and they don’t look positive in any light with this approach.

  37. Angela Daffron says

    Klout is BS! You are an expert in sheep right? I am an expert in Australia. I have never been. There was something else ridiculous too, but I can’t remember.

  38. Everett Martin says

    I’m an expert in Catholics because I criticize the Pope a few times, and an expert in WordPress because I ask questions because I don’t know how to use it well. Since everyone’s Twitter is public, though, I don’t see anything technically wrong with giving it a number. It’s kind of like taking people’s pictures on public property. They might not like it, and when abused it leads to paparazzi issues, but it’s totally legal. But yes, in general, the opt-out or negative option “mindset” probably isn’t the most ethical.

  39. Danny Brown says

    That’s a fair point, Everett, but the thing is with the Twitter permission, or Facebook, etc, it’s that our information can be shared. But that doesn’t mean a complete public profile can be set up elsewhere, that we may not even be aware of. As some have mentioned in the comments, I’m now a wee bit curious about some of the legal standing in this approach.

  40. John Carson says

    You probably know I am anti-Kout too; it’s not personal, just don’t believe someone with 86 can help me more than an 54. Anyway — this is very interesting, Danny, I never knew they could create a profile. How do you find out if they have? I want to check.

  41. Denise Tawwab says

    Had never heard of Klout until now, but there my unauthorized profile sits with a whopping score of 14. This is creepy. Sounds like a system that could be gamed if one had time and/or inclination. I have neither. #iFeelSoViolated :-)

  42. says

    Danny,

    I agree with you in that opt-in should be the standard across the board. Unfortunately, even though you are right, I believe you are also spitting into the wind. It absolutely sucks that some businesses use Klout for hiring criteria. Still, better to play the game then try and change the rules. You’re not wrong, but can you suggest an option?

  43. says

    @barryrsilver Part of me thinks a legal challenge would be the only way to remedy this, Barry. There are folks over on my Facebook Page leaving comments that they either never knew klout existed, or that they had a profile.

    That’s kind of disconcerting, to say the least, and is perhaps another reason why the current approach / allowances should be looked at.

  44. Danny Brown says

    That’s the problem, Denise, so many folks don’t even know it exists, and yet it can influence (no pun intended) how others perceive you. That doesn’t sit well.

  45. Denise Tawwab says

    Doesn’t sit well at all Danny. Not at all. I feel a blog post coming on. Will keep you (no pun intended) posted.

  46. Everett Martin says

    Remember, not too long ago, you used to have to opt-out in order to be unlisted in the White Pages, and in most jurisdictions there was even a cost to this. Our expectation of privacy was lower then. Imagine if all of a sudden all the cell carriers started cooperating with Canada411 to make every cell number available; there would be a revolt! But that would just be bringing things back to the old status quo.

  47. says

    I agree with the Opt Out Bullshit. It is a big reason I live to see Facebook destroyed into tatters. Google tends to do Opt In minus street view where you could get caught suntanning nude and be live on the maps. I agree that Klout can use all my twitter data it is public. I agree they don’t know or measure much in my opinion since the pool of info is so low.

    Someone yesterday who I really like was bullish on Facebook’s Places modification and I said ‘Facebook doesn’t know shit about anyone’s buying habits’ because 99.9999% of what we buy or do or go we never ever share on Facebook. 700mil Accounts be damned. Visa and Master Card know more. Google knows much more!

    I have a collegiate marketing service I am trying to get off the ground that includes mobile marketing. I have a statement on my website that by activating the call to action on your phone you 1] never hear from us again after this campaign 2] your number is given to no one ever. They are one off campaigns. If a brand wants to include an opt in for further contact so be it. This makes my service more powerful than others. It is immediate and respectful.

    I was wondering why I get a box popping up asking me to invite people with profiles. I also never linked any other networks with Klout. To me it’s a cute game to keep @DannyBrown a sheep expert etc

  48. says

    I really don’t think I’d want to be hired based on my Klout score. I’m all for due diligence and would have to question their recruitment policy and their business sense.

  49. EmilyLeary says

    Well put, Danny.

    I kind of liked Klout in a “hmmm, let’s see what THIS does to my score” kinda way, but I don’t put any store in it and like you, I’m starting to think it doesn’t mean much.

    It’s definitely not fair that if you don’t play the Klout game, you’re labelled as less influential. The system also gives more love to certain plaforms. I don’t use Tumblr, I use Posterous, so I guess I don’t get any influence points there. Seems arbitirary. Also, it doesn’t seem to care about my blog, or the many conversations I have on other blogs, or closed Facebook groups…and I’ll never be influential tip-for-tip on FourSquare because I live in a small town with about a dozen other active users. Meh.

    And I totally agree that Opt Out (especially Opt Out that doesn’t actually get you out) is not cool. Breaking rules of privacy seems to be the name of the game for social media operators these days. Mass disapproval does seem to force change eventually (like with LinkedIn earlier this month), but why do we have to keep playing this game?

  50. meganberry says

    Hey Danny,

    I’m the Marketing Manager here at Klout and wanted to reach out with more info. Klout collects public data in order to measure influence. It is similar to how Google crawls websites in order to display them in their search results. We don’t display any information that isn’t available publicly on your Twitter profile and we do not collect any private data without your explicit permission. If you don’t wish your data to be public, you can look to your privacy setting on that network in order to change it. Hope that helps and feel free to reach out with further questions.

    Thanks,

    Megan

    meganberry

    Marketing Manager, Klout

    megan@Klout.com

  51. says

    @meganberry Hi Megan,

    Thanks for dropping by, appreciated. While I understand where you get the information from, your approach to “solving it” seems off.

    What you’re basically saying is that if I, or anyone else, doesn’t want Klout to have a profile of me, I need to go “invisible” by making my social accounts private.

    The problem with that is obvious. If a core part of my business is done online – whether by tweets, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc – I have to close that part of my business off, just so I can get Klout to remove me. I have to protect my tweets; make Facebook invisible to anyone but a trusted few; deny LinkedIn users the chance to see my expertise, etc.

    How can that be a sensible solution? Why should someone have to make themselves private to stop you making them public?

    What happened to the, “Okay, social web user, we respect your wishes and will completely remove you from our system”? Are you denying these requests? Because I think that could be an interesting approach to try and uphold, no?

  52. says

    @EmilyLeary I think it was paul sutton that mentioned in his comment about Instagram being a new platform they measure, but that’s only available for iPhone – so are all other mobile handset users not worth worrying about? 😉

    That’s where systems like this fail. And you can’t really call yourself “the standard for influence” when you’re only measuring limited standards…

  53. EmilyLeary says

    @DannyBrownpaul sutton Ah yes, well on that point Klout is right: iPhone users are inherently better people 😉 Seriously though, it’s never going to be possible to measure every platform, and weight it fairly, so are we concluding that Klout (and it’s competitors) will never really achieve their aim of scoring influence legitimately? So just like AVE and PR, we as an industry have built up the demand for numerical scoring of what we do, only to realise it’s crappy and stop using it. You have to laugh.

  54. EmilyLeary says

    @DannyBrownpaul sutton Ah yes, well on that point Klout is right: iPhone users are inherently better people 😉 Seriously though, it’s never going to be possible to measure every platform, and weight it fairly, so are we concluding that Klout (and its competitors) will never really achieve their aim of scoring influence legitimately? So just like AVE and PR, we as an industry have built up the demand for numerical scoring of what we do, only to realise it’s crappy and stop using it. You have to laugh.

  55. says

    Danny – one thing that I really appreciate about you is that you tell it like it is. PERIOD. I’ll be honest, I’ve never even thought about the point of the opt-in with Klout. I’ve always known I wasn’t a fan…but mainly because I simply can’t imagine an algorithm being able to speak a lick about my influence. It has to create a new type of influence which is, in my opinion a lot less influential.

  56. says

    @HowieSPM The ironic thing is that even the crappiest of opt-out email marketing spammers have an option at the end of the email to be removed from the system if it’s not for you. So what does that say about the near impossibility of Klout removing you from their system..?

  57. says

    @Jk Allen You know who influences me the most, mate? My wife and my son. Everything I do is for the quality of life I want them to have. None of them are “measured” by Klout – so it kinda blows a hole in the platform… 😉

  58. says

    @DannyBrown@meganberry Not allowing people to opt out seems to me to be the ultimate arrogance. I’d caution that this could be a very slippery slope as more people hear about this and want out. This just begs people to find ways to mess with the ranking and write code to keep it away from them.

    Initially I didn’t really care about and don’t pay attention to Klout. Now? I want out! Seriously, figure out how to let people opt out of your service without having to hide everything else from everyone else or I’d recommend preparing for some backlash I doubt is going to help Klout’s reputation or influence.

  59. says

    I can recently see a lot of crazy “influences” on Klout. People are being assigned influential on irrelevant topics based on crazy things. Although many people, like me, do not realize that they didn’t agree to be on Klout, it doesn’t mean that anyone can add us to anything. Thanks for the headsup.

  60. says

    You mean you don’t want to impress Klout, Danny? Shock Horror!

    I suspected that the scores were off and had no idea what mine was until I clicked on my own twitter handle on HootSuite. So I guess I shouldn’t be so impressed with my score of 59, LOL! There is a USTwitter doctors list put out by this medical marketing guy and he included our Klout scores. I ranked a lot higher than Dr.Perricone who was somewhere in the high 20’s(you know the dermatologist who wrote the “Perricone Prescription” a diet for perfect skin and has his own product line). Somehow, he seems to me a bit more influential but who am I to say!

    Ditto most of the sentiments on here, definitely should be able to easily opt out.

    cheers,rajka

  61. says

    It is posts like these that make me proud of the movement that is ‘blogging’. Very, very powerful Mr. Brown. Keep leading the way, keep pushing what others see as ‘OK’ and asking, ‘why???’.

    Marcus

  62. says

    @Marcus_Sheridan Cheers,mate. Sadly, going by Megan Berry’s response below, Klout don’t care about the user’s wishes to be removed. I’m starting to see interesting feedback about this approach – somehow I think this topic might just be getting started…

  63. says

    @ExpatDoctorMom That’s the most annoying thing, Rajka. Fair enough, many people use and like Klout. But for those that don’t, saying it’s up to them to make their accounts private, as opposed to being able to leave, is a cop-out. Think there’ll be more said on this topic.

  64. says

    @RickRice @meganberry It does seem to say a few things about the company’s ethics, Rick, if they’re basically saying they don’t care if you want to leave, ain’t gonna happen. Interesting approach…

  65. ginidietrich says

    I wonder how many more services we’ll see that are opt-out vs. opt-in? It seems more and more companies are taking the Facebook approach and opting you in without your permission. I do find it interesting that your score dropped just because you disconnected your social platforms. I also find it interesting that they only way you can get out of having a Klout score is by making your Twitter profile private. So, even though you’ve been building your Twitter community for four years, you have to make your account private for them to let you be.

  66. says

    @ginidietrich Exactly. I wonder about the legality of Klout’s approach, especially since I’ve revoked the permission from all my social accounts, which is where they essentially get permission from in the first place. How can you keep something you have no permission to? Time for more questions…

  67. says

    Opt-out should be a definite no-no for any respectable organization. As for Klout itself, more education is needed about online influence. When I first began engaging with social media, I had never heard of Klout. As time went on, I became familiar with the ‘service’ and started checking my own Klout score to see how I (and I confess, others) were doing. After a few months of tweeting more regularly and reading more bloggers, I’m looking at other indicators of someone’s influence. For example, I just read a great post by @billdorman about one of his key analytics–he gets an average of over 63 responses to his posts. Now that’s influence!

  68. says

    Opt-out should be a definite no-no for any respectable organization. As for Klout itself, more education is needed about online influence. When I first began engaging with social media, I had never heard of Klout. As time went on, I became familiar with the ‘service’ and started checking my own Klout score to see how I (and I confess, others) were doing. After a few months of tweeting more regularly and reading more bloggers, I’m looking at other indicators of someone’s influence. For example, I just read a great post by @bdorman264 about one of his key analytics–he gets an average of over 63 responses to his posts. Now that’s influence!

  69. says

    @Shelley Pringle@bdorman264 Exactly, Shelley – we’re all influenced by different things at different moments, so a platform that defines influence by the reactions they see immediately has a flaw.

    Cheers!

  70. says

    @Shelley Pringle@bdorman264 Exactly, Shelley – we’re all influenced by different things at different moments, so a platform that defines influence by the reactions they see immediately has a flaw.

    Cheers!

  71. says

    Ok, my score just popped up to 62 so we are almost even now… that all your platforms are turned off, ha, ha, ha. I think the recent increase was recommendations for Klout +. Now if only they had sensible measurable stats and not just nonsense. @DannyBrown

  72. NCompass says

    Hey Danny, your score went down… get over it… No-one should ever take these sort of data collecting sites seriously.

    The truth of Stats is not the hits, numbers or figures, it’s the change over time… Obama is still president even though he’s got low ratings… services like Klout just play with the data they can get, leave them to it.

    And by the way, for what possible reason do I have to sign in to leave a comment on this Blog, I am much more suspicious about what LiveFyre will do with my data than Klout.

  73. says

    @NCompass If you’ve read other posts of mine, or tweets, etc, you’ll know I don’t give a rat’s ass about Klout’s scores. I do care about how they don’t allow users to leave easily, or how they set you up an account whether you like it or not.

    With regards Livefyre, no-one forces you to sign in and comment.

  74. NCompass says

    All points duly taken… and I have put some thought into this now… we’re forever hearing about employers looking up employees on Facebook, Twitter users being exposed for things and generally to much of our private info escaping the system.

    But you can’t blame the likes of @Klout – all they’re doing is collecting existing data. It is the places where you put your data that count, which is why I worried more about Livefyre than Klout…

    It seems to me your real enemy is Facebook, Twitter and all the other services Klout uses.

  75. says

    @NCompass For sure, the initial point-of-contact, if you like, offers our information too freely at times (although, to be fair, we did sign up knowing that was in the Terms and Conditions of Twitter, Facebook, etc).

    The bigger problem with Klout is that, even when you revoke all their permissions and access, they still run your profile. It’s as if they’re saying you endorse them, when you clearly don’t (something Brian Driggs discusses in an earlier comment).

    It’s also more to do with professional respect and (potentially) consumer law online. If a user asks to be removed from your list – whether that’s an email one or a telemarketing one or, in this case, a Klout one – that should be respected. And in some cases, it’s a legal obligation.

    This is where Klout’s falling down.

  76. says

    @NCompass@klout

    Well, technically, as Klout is pulling in your name and likeness and using it in such a way as to suggest your use or endorsement of their commercial product without your express, written consent, it’s illegal. (Just Google “California Civil Code 3344″ and see for yourself.)

    Opt-in trumps opt-out any day of the week. In a perfect world, Klout would only publish names, faces, and scores for those people who sign up, verify themselves, and opt-into such displays. Legality aside (US Common Law also provides for protection of one’s right to privacy/publicity, and control over how one’s name/likeness are used for commercial purposes similarly to the California Civil Code), the implementation of a simple opt-out request would not only spare Klout all the time spent putting our fires, but possibly buy them a little more slack from the more vocal social media community.

    If I’d clicked a link to remove my profile and was met with a simple explanation of why Klout thinks their measurement, in time, would prove beneficial to me as one who views the internet as a digital dimension of reputation, and asked if I would allow them to track my online activities *privately* in an effort to advance their research, I would probably connect all kinds of accounts, even going so far as to offer feedback on venues they might be missing (ie; discussion forums, where I have a reach approaching 1.5MM people worldwide based on over a decade participating in them). As it were, having my name and picture up there suggesting I use or endorse their service without my consent wasn’t nearly as infuriating as being all but blown off when I asked nicely to be treated with the most basic of common courtesies.

    ON A POSITIVE NOTE: I received an email from Megan @Klout this morning advising they had deactivated my profile and asking me to allow them up to 90 days for it to completely vanish. THANK YOU MEGAN.

    I will keep tabs on the URL (http://klout.com/dr1665) over the next three months to be certain this happens, but I share the link here in case anyone struggling with the same problem in the future can see that Klout is willing to honor such requests, even if it is akin to pulling teeth at times.

    If I’m going to rail against a brand online for their wrongdoings, I must also be willing to acknowledge their efforts to sincerely make things right. Thus, my comment here today.

  77. NCompass says

    @Brian Driggs@klout I don’t understand why everyone makes such a fuss over this sort of thing… firstly you don’t sign up to Facebook and expect to remain unknown, it’s not the purpose. Secondly, it’s well known if you sign up to these things, data about you will be made public – long may that continue.

    Laws in California are outdated, German is having a big hoo hah over privacy, copyright as we know it is dying, welcome to a new age.

    You don’t sign up to social networking to be anti-social.

  78. says

    @NCompass@Brian Driggs You also don’t sign up to *anything* – social network or otherwise – and lose complete control of your privacy.

    Your business is in websites. So a lot (if not all) your business is online. As Klout stands with its integration elsewhere (Hootsuite, for example), I can filter conversations to only include people above a certain Klout score.

    So, if I said I don’t want any conversations in my stream from people under a score of 25, you’d be screwed and I’d never be aware of your services.

    Sure, you could drop back and rely on SEO, but we all know how that can be gamed, so there’s no guarantee your services will come up in my searches either.

    By definition, many laws are outdated now across the globe – California and Germany aren’t the worst examples.

    But all this aside, it’s professional courtesy to respect the wishes to be removed from a site you don’t endorse. Unless you’d be happy, for instance, having NCompass show up on an anti-gay racist Nazi site with images of babies being slaughtered on film…

  79. says

    @NCompass Pretty sure @DannyBrown and I agree with your perspective that participation in public-facing social environments online requires a participants to take responsibility for the protection of their own privacy. Our chief complaint is not so much our information being used by others, but used for commercial purposes (as a marketing/promotional vehicle) without our consent (which is illegal), and the apparent disinterest by the offending party to do the right thing.

    Compare Klout to Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion – the credit bureaus here in the States. These organizations have complex, proprietary algorithms which analyze our financial activity and assign a score to each of us. Those scores impact our ability to buy a home, a car, a new TV, rent an apartment, and even get a decent job. Is it any wonder, then, these scores are private?

    Within the social media marketing realm, Klout is making quite a name for itself. Accurate, valid, or otherwise, people ARE using these scores to make business/hiring decisions. In these early stages, businesses are using this score to provide better service to more “influential” individuals, but shine a flashlight down the rabbit hole, and it’s not a stretch to expect them to pair that with a reduction in service to less influential folks. We’re already starting to see trends reflecting this, as Danny points out above. Scary, man!

    When we share our lives in the public domain via Twitter, Facebook, et al., we relinquish a measure of our privacy, AGREED, but the other side of that coin is our right to PUBLICITY, which is impinged upon by actions such as misappropriation of name or likeness for exploitative purposes.

    This is not a function of outdated laws. The law is there to protect your right to say which, if any businesses, use your name and face to sell their products or services. Since when is this an outdated notion? Even Facebook provides the ability for user to opt-out of having their updates used in advertising on the site.

    Opt-in respects the individual, fostering a more meaningful (and profitable) business relationship. Opt-out, on the other hand, favors the business, fostering animosity and distrust. Disallowing opt-out is a slip-n-slide straight to outrage and litigation. And that’s no way to run a business.

    Appreciate the lively discussion on the subject.

  80. NCompass says

    @Brian Driggs@DannyBrown You’re bringing in a lot of stuff here, too much for a simple forum like this. The bases of the argument is Opt-In or Opt-Out and naturally I follow the Opt-In concept.

    The next issue is once the info in in the public domain – how to get it out/off. Should you care – That’s a personal choice, if you don’t want Klout profiling you, get off Facebook/Twitter. Go to the source.

    Unfortunately, this argument is compelling for one reason only, Klout barely scrapes the surface in terms of the number of websites who have your data, virtually every Twitter app, Facebook app is collecting. You can’t make it illegal it’s like the music industry, the horse and bolted, there’s no stable door to bolt. Someone somewhere is collecting your data.

    At least Klout is upfront about it and actually provides a service, unlike those credit bureau’s you mention who really do control your life without your authorization..

  81. says

    @NCompass@Brian Driggs Agsin, getting off Facebook or Twitter isn’t a solution when business is conducted on there and via there as a secondary or tertiary option.

    The difference with “every Twitter app”, etc, is that the vast majority of these apps do not impact on your ability to be hired, either as an employee or as a contractor.

    Just because data is being collected – which most people know and accept – doesn’t mean it should be used without recourse and responsibility for its use.

    And I’d say this “simple forum” is allowing for some pretty open discussion, no? 😉

  82. NCompass says

    @DannyBrown@Brian Driggs No offence to the forum, it is allow some open discussion… for sure, and as the discussion grows so does the breadth of what is discussed, all good I assure you.

    You now bring in Business… ouch, you’re trying to make a living partly from your Facebook and Twitter efforts, I don’t want to wrong you, but I lose sympathy a little, I mean you’re trying to sell your services, but don’t like it people can research you? An example (no more I assure you) why would I want to employ you as a marketing agency if you can’t get a decent Klout Score… that is what is so brilliant about Klout is that I can look you up before I choose to buy.

    I have NO qualms about data that is collected on any business for any reason, so long as it is used fairly and reputably… everyone should be able to research any business offering before agreeing to it use any tool available.

    People that is another matter – and I suspect Klout isn’t too worried about them either.

    Finally – have you noticed how Twitter is like a market place with no customers, everyone is a stall holder.

  83. says

    @NCompass@DannyBrown Egad. We’re SO close to agreement on this one. Just that tiny, niggling point. One more comment and I think I’m retiring from this one.

    Imagine this, you’re walking down the street, when you come across a bakery you’ve never visited with a big picture of you in the window. Next your picture, it says, “Guy Hoogewerf loves fresh baked bread. Do you like fresh baked bread too? Come into our store and buy some!”

    Now, maybe you do like fresh baked bread. It’s delicious and good for sandwiches, after all, but you would rather not be a spokesperson for this particular bakery. When you walk in and ask the baker to kindly stop using your name and picture to promote his bakery, he tells you that, if you don’t want his business using you as a marketing vehicle, then you should walk down another street.

    Your personal freedom to retain control of how your name and image are used by businesses is no different than that of the celebrities, who are paid (rather well, frankly) to be spokespeople for brands.

    Nike cannot use Michael Jordan to promote shoes without his permission. Ford cannot use Mike Rowe to sell trucks with his permission. General Mills can’t tell you “Mikey likes it” without his parents’ consent.

    The same is true for each of us. And the outrage witnessed in the comments here (and elsewhere) is a reflection of seeing others clearly decide it’s acceptable to walk all over the rights of the average Joe, because he’s not “influential.”

  84. POTUS31 says

    #cure4klout What if ChuckieCheeze locked you inside for life? Stupid, right? You can walk out. So why can’t you opt-out of Klout?

  85. POTUS31 says

    Klout CEO, Joe Fernandez, claims ‎”People put Klout score on their resume.”

    Let me ask you one question: Would you hire someone who spends all day keeping Klout scores up? NO, you hire someone to work!

  86. meganberry says

    @DannyBrown It’s actually based on Twitter’s policy. When you create a new account on Twitter, your Twitter profile is public by default. Unless your account is changed to protected from your account settings, your Tweets are publicly visible on your profile page, in Twitter search, and through the Twitter API. As soon as they have been made publicly available, third parties (such as Google, ourselves, and other search engines) have access to these publicly visible Tweets—like other information on the internet.

    If you want your Tweets to only be available to approved followers. you can set your account to protected. Tweets posted by a protected account are only visible to approved followers and not otherwise publicly available to third parties. Twitter has a help page with more information about public and protected accounts here: http://support.twitter.com/articles/14016.

    • says

      Hi Danny and Megan,Thanks for opening this topic up for discussion.I know that permission and privacy are huge concerns for everyone these days. As Danny points out this is about our right to choose. We may want a public profile on Twitter to support our friendships, clients, businesses and ideas but not want the distraction of keeping score using numbers.I for one have just emailed Klout today to have my profile removed and disconnected the account from my other networks. I’ll keep you posted on how long it takes them to get back to me.The point that Klout, and I think Facebook are missing is this. Some of us don’t want to be your product. Some of us want to focus on serving our clients and connecting with our audience in meaningful ways that can never be measured. High scores don’t always mean you’re doing work that matters, far from it.Here’s a post I wrote about this for the audience over at Pushing Social in January. It’s more relevant than ever today.http://pushingsocial.com/how-do-you-measure-influence

    • says

      @Bernadette Jiwa Thanks, Bernadette, and completely agree, the option to be removed should be available, and simple to achieve. All the hoops and excuses about “make your social profiles private” doesn’t quite cut it… @meganberry

    • says

      @DannyBrown@meganberry Hi Danny, I’ve tried contacting Klout via various channels, email, Twitter and Megan Berry directly and have had no response about, how, if and when my profile will be removed. I’ve obviously disconnected as many applications as I can. Can you give me some idea how long it took for you to have your profile removed. What is the next step for me to take? Thanks.

  87. says

    @meganberry Megan,

    I understand how the information is gathered. That’s not really what the post is about.

    I’ve followed all your instructions to remove my details and yet there I am, still.

    Even taking into account the possible legalities of hosting my information without endorsement, and when I’ve removed your permission to do so, the ethical and moral point of respecting someone’s wishes to leave is where Klout is missing the boat.

    You mention Twitter and Google – ironic, given that these allow you to close your account completely. So why can’t Klout offer the same grace?

  88. says

    Unlike some of your previous articles, I strongly agree with this one. And what is this Klout mania going on everywhere? I am not a number, my influence can’t be measured the way you want to. I see people scheming the Klout results, but have little or no influence what so ever. It’s completely unreliable tool.

  89. EdwardBGreen says

    Klout have just changed their scoring – now Facebook seems to have a far greater influence, making it of far less use to me as a metric of engagement. Klout has jumped the shark.

    • NCompass says

      Ah good someone to argue Klout’s case, sorry Danny, but you are naive in thinking that opting out of services like Klout is the answer to your privacy concerns. The term is Social Media and it implies an aspect of social.

      I tell people that Social Media is like entering a 24/7 cocktail party wearing one of those plastic name cards where you only know a few of the people… you might meet anyone.

      All Klout is doing is what other have been doing for years… The good news is that Klout is exposing some of the information you are sharing and that then allows you to lock down your data more effectively if indeed you do not want to share it.

    • says

      @roniweisssickontheroad At least they have an opt-out option and more than one way to delete. The difference is, Alexa doesn’t claim to be “the standard for influence”, nor does it affect someone’s job potentials. Different beasts.

      • roniweiss says

        @DannyBrownsickontheroad Blaming Klout for affecting someone’s job potential makes no sense. That’s totally outside of them. I can guarantee that Alexa scores have come into play for many a travel blogger, whether or not they’ve received a press trip.

        What am I missing here? This doesn’t sound like opt-out:

        “Can I remove my site from Alexa’s Site Info pages?

        No. Alexa provides free, traffic metrics for all websites.”

  90. ASegar says

    Klout’s recent scoring changes are the straw that breaks the camel’s back. I’ve disconnected my accounts and asked Klout via email to delete my profile information (hey Klout—providing no web interface to opt-out is SLEAZY).

    My social media day-to-day connections and conversations are what’s important to me, not a Klout number.

    Ultimately, the metric that concerns me is how many people visit my website and blog, and that number has been rising very nicely regardless of what Klout says about my popularity on social media.

  91. david_heath says

    Weird, I signed in to Klout using my Twitter account (haven’t posted there in months!) to find I’m a very valuable 13! Too bad that although having a relatively high influencing level in the outlets I use (I write for ARNnet and iTWire – where I broke the Steve Jobs numberplate story )

    Checking out my profile, they seem to make some very off conclusions: “You don’t share very much, but you follow the social web more than you let on. You may just enjoy observing more than sharing or you’re checking this stuff out before jumping in full-force.” How on earth do they know that? Other than the fact that have an account but post rarely!

    Basically, this is crap in technicolour!!

    • says

      @david_heath Now, now, David – Klout knows exactly what they’re talking about. They tell us so… 😉

      And love your example, mate – perfect way to show the things that really matter when it comes to cause and effect.

      Cheers!

  92. says

    Influence without context is not particularly valuable. I can see how a measure of influence might be useful if you are trying to identify consumers, who use social media and have expressed a certain intention or preference for your product or service. But alone it doesn’t provide enough business value from which to a make decision nor does tying it to another metrics, like sales, improve it much. I think you sum it up when you wrote “I wasn’t participating by their rules, I was less influential”. For a business looking to reach their customers or prospects, the only set of rules that really matter are the ones those consumers help define.

    • says

      @Collectual That’s the perfect point, Jennifer, the issue of context. Cool, you might be influential in marketing; or I might be influential in social media. But for what customer?

      Is my social media-only experience going to be useful when it comes to managing marketing budgets, KPI’s, pain points and adjustable strategy?

      Is your awesome marketing knowledge going to be useful at launching a product specifically for Chinese basket weavers?

      Influence is such a very small part of an overall package, that this whole “we’re super important” BS is getting pretty dangerous from a real-world business angle.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, appreciated!

  93. meganberry says

    Hey Danny and all,

    I wanted to follow up on this post. Klout is about empowering individuals and showcasing their influence. We value our users first and your privacy is very important to us. We have recently strengthened our privacy controls and want to share what options we have available. Specifically:

    *Registered users can choose to opt-out of Klout at any time from our profile settings page

    * We use public data to score users (similar to a search engine), but if at any time a user wishes to opt-out of being scored they can do so from our privacy page)

    I want to let you know we take feedback like this very seriously and have worked to address it. Thanks for your time.

    -Megan Berry

    Marketing Manager, Klout

    • says

      @meganberry Thanks for the heads-up, Megan, nice to see Klout listening to feedback.

      Question about the profiles – what about non-registered users that you still create profiles for (at least, profiles that encourage sign-up)? Unless I’m wrong, the current set-up means they have to sign in via Twitter to opt-out of Klout.

      So, isn’t that still giving Klout more information before opt-out, thus adding to the numbers, and meaning that these folks are on your database until your cache catches up to their deletion?

      Wouldn’t it just be simpler to make Klout opt-in from the start?

      • meganberry says

        @DannyBrown Hey Danny,

        For those with public profiles (i.e. public Twitter profiles) they do need to auth to opt-out. The *only* thing we do during that process is ensure you are the actual owner of that account and you’re not trying to remove mine for instance. We do not take any other information.

        As for doing an opt-in only solution — we do that for any account that is private. If you choose to create a public Twitter profile, that profile and your tweets are public and shown on many sites including search engines, social crawlers etc. We’re using the same information they are. It’s similar to the fact that as soon as you create a website you open it up to Google indexing it unless you explicitly opt-out. Hope that helps!

        Thanks,

        Megan Berry

      • danieleagee says

        @DannyBrown Maybe sometime soon, Klout will drop the awful CS script and actually answer the questions you’re asking? Nah, I bet Joe is still on vacation.

  94. blogbloke says

    I’m not saying that I agree with Klout (because I emphatically don’t) but if I may add some clarity .. the bottom line is anything you put online is up for grabs.

    So your best policy is to NOT put it up in the first place. If there is anything we’ve learned over the years, it is when you use someone else’s site they can change the rules any time they want (aka Facebook et al). There is nothing truly safe or sacred when it comes to the internet .. and that includes social media.

    I know that I’ve had to learn this the hard way myself, and anybody (or organization) can fall between the cracks and scrape it.. Like I’ve said time and again (and I can’t stress this enough) — DON’T give it up in the first place is still the best policy.

    Having said that, and like I said earlier, I disagree with Klout and they should change their policy. But in the end it is up to each us as individuals to police our own data because we cannot depend on someone else to do it for us.

    Cheers,

    BB

    • says

      @blogbloke Hi mate,

      To a degree, I completely agree with you – we *do* give up our privacy once we go online. The problem with Klout, though, is more than this.

      ~ Their advice to not be profiled is to make your feeds private. So, for an individual or company whose primary income stream is from online business, this is commercial suicide. Since the Klout model is flawed, I can understand why people or brands would want to opt-out their service – but saying they have to go invisible to do so is crazy (though they have since updated).

      ~ There’s since been an issue with Klout setting up profiles for minors, even though they’ve made their settings private. This is wrong on so many levels it would take a complete post to go over. Just as well there is one. 😉

      http://dannybrown.me/2011/10/27/is-klout-using-our-family-to-violate-our-privacy/

      Again, they say they’ve fixed this, but as of yesterday people were still finding their kids on Klout.

      I’m all for companies trying to make sense of purchase and emotional triggers, amongst other things. But there’s a right way to do something, and then there’s the other way. Unfortunately, Klout seems to be determined to be the other way (or at least it seems that way).

      Cheers for the thoughtful comment, sir.

      • says

        @DannyBrown I guess the word I should have used was perspective rather than clarity.

        I think we are both in agreement here. I was just trying to paint a larger picture for your readers.

        Thanks for a good post and letting me put in my two cents worth.

        Give em hell Danny.

        Cheers,

        BB

  95. conradfly says

    You’re giving Klout WAY TOO much credit here. It’s not MAGIC. It’s math. Your Klout score is based on a mathematical algorithm. So when you disconnect networks from Klout you are excluding information from their calculation. Of course your score would change – because the information being used to generate the score is not the same. 
     
    By the same token – when I ADD Google+ to my Klout account my SCORE ACTUALLY DROPS.  Why?  Because I rock on Facebook and Twitter but I suck on Google+ and Klout knows it. 
     
    It has nothing to do with the ideas “that because I wasn’t participating by their rules, I was less influential” – it’s just math.

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