Social spam

I have mentioned this before: social media are a growing target for spammers. Unfortunately, there is no way to report mass abuse. All you can do is report individual spammers, while what we do need is a mass spammer reporting tool.

A fine example of social media spam this is the Facebook account of Mrs. Laura Augustine. Judging from her Facebook profile picture, she has barely enough money to dress properly, but she does have a web site. Her only Facebook action so far is to encourage you to go view it (View my sexy photos and videos on my site!!): And, in turn, Mrs. Augustine, who is now suddenly called Anna Bond, directs you to with an equally inviting message (view my sexy photos and videos). isn’t all that innocent, by the way, as it specifically mentions Are you posting something that you don’t want people to know what the URL is because it might give away that it’s an affiliate link? Then you can enter a URL into TinyURL. Anyway, Mrs. Augustine, Carabi, Bond wants you to see which, luckily, doesn’t work anymore.

If you are spammer aware, the first time you are invited to become “friends” with a young lady with no money for clothes, you may think that turning her in is a good thing. You may think that clicking on the “report for abuse” or “report for spam” button helps. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Reporting Mrs. Augustine will help, but not much. If you simply search Google for, you’ll notice that there’s 27 results (most of them not safe for work). Even worse is the fact that I first digitally met Mrs. Carabi/Bond/Augustine in November 2010 – that’s six months ago. And if you search with Google for “view my sexy photos and videos”, you’ll get even more accounts that probably direct you to the same rubbish.

Another example is random followers that you may have on Twitter. Who is EmmaGamble87 and why is she following me?  Judging from her Twitter account, Emma Gamble is a spam bot, who sends out a new spam link once a day. Use Google to search for that very spam link – minus the random number – and we found another 84 possible Twitter spammers. That is, for every new spam link we find new possible Twitter spam accounts: 93 results, 99 results.

Now should I try to turn in all these Professional coffee enthusiasts, Passionate bacon geeks, hipster-friendly travel lovers, alcohol gurus, hardcore food fanatics, beer scholars and wannabe zombie mavens? Give me a break. If Twitter wants to get rid of spam bots, it should do so by having a mass spam bot reporting tool. (Same goes for Facebook. By the way: ironically enough they now report my mass spammer finding link as abusive, see here).

Social spam will not go away. If you just look at the number of idiots that are following these spam bots on Twitter, you’ll know that automated junk mail has it’s very own audience. But a mass spam reporting tool could improve spam reduction rate twentyfold.

Oh, by the way: please don’t report my examples. I’d have to find new ones, which isn’t hard, but reporting them would defeat the whole purpose of this posting.

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