Sunday, June 19, 2011

Social Media Spam Definition

Social Media Spam Definition is covered by Wikipedia well in the post entitled Social networking spam

Social networking spam is spam directed at users of internet social networking services such as MySpace, Facebook or LinkedIn. Users of social networking services can send notes, that may include embedded links to other social network locations or even outside sites, to one another.

This is where the social network spammer comes in. Utilizing the social network's search tools, he/she can target a certain demographic segment of the users, or use common fan pages or groups to send notes to them from an account disguised as that of a real person. Such notes may include embedded links to pornographic or other product sites designed to sell something.

Stopping spam: It's not easy. Most sites have a “report spam/abuse” addresses. Spammers, however, frequently change their address from one throw-away account to another.

A new, more powerful form of viral marketing / spam / hacking was seen on Facebook in May, 2010, but could be used almost anywhere. Users follow a link to a seemingly harmless Facebook Fan page (Fan pages are used by businesses, and do not require their consent to become their Friend.) This Facebook Fan page was for "10 Big Fat Lies Women Tell Men." To view the "10 Lies" the user is directed to tap a series of keystrokes (CTRL-C, CTRL-V, etc.) that appear to be a harmless game or test. This copies and pastes a cryptic string of Javascript code into the URL (Address) field of the user's browser. Unknown to the user, the hacker's code automatically sends an invitation email to every Friend of the user. It automatically answers 'yes' to every security question ordinarily used to make certain this is what the user wanted to do. Emails are sent in the user's name to invite every one of their Friends, who will also be hacked the same way (since they all have Facebook accounts). The final purpose is to sell a product or obtain the victim's cellphone number for further criminal activities.

Some social networking sites also ask users to let them access their address books and contact lists and use email invites for viral marketing. This is controversial as it requests the permission of the address book owner but not the owner of the email addresses within it. This situation is made more complex by users not reading what the information will be used for. The social networking site Quechup, run by iDate corporation is a recent example.[1] Quechup was criticized by many users for misleading them and hiding the nature of the feature in the 'small print' of the site's terms. However, text that provided an unclear explanation of how the feature worked was part of the sign-up process, but failed to state exactly what would happen.[2] This raises the issue of 'click happy' users 'opting-in' without first reading what they are accepting.

No comments:

Post a Comment