Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Facebook spam: an adventure. Earlier tonight I saw this person crop up as one of Facebook's suggested "People You May Know".

Clearly I do not know this person. Indeed, her misspelled name pains me to look at. She only has three Facebook friends, and I am not friends with any of them. Surely someone whose charms are so… evident would have more than three friends! Haters gonna hate?

I Googled her name and the school name and got nothing. I also Google Image Searched the name and while I was truly despondent to see how many babies have been damned to this misspelled name, I did not see that pic or any others that could be of the same chick.

By the way, when I Google these kinds of names and see the things their owners post on the internet, I realise what an ivory tower of cultural capital I inhabit. Or rather – because I'm trying to be nice – language is evolving, and perhaps there's another kind of cultural capital that's expressed via semi-literacy.

For instance, from the website of a bakery whose trading name was registered to someone with the mystery name: "With Chstrmas fast upon us…" (ERMAHGERD CHSTRMAS) And a blogger with the mystery name writes: "Time and love cant be taken for granite."

I was going to simply upload my screen grab to Facebook as a comment that the 'People You May Know' function doesn't work very well, but then I couldn't remember the chick's name in the pic so I tried to find the profile again. That's when I saw this pneumatic lovely.

It looks like the same person (note the same suburb) – but how could the profile have changed so dramatically in just a few minutes? Surely this is Facebook spam.

I'm used to identifying and reporting Twitter spam accounts – they usually have ridiculous misspelled names, generic-looking bikini/lingerie profile pics, zero or almost no followers, and usernames that don't match their stated name (eg @christy6969 – "Serah Ranoldo"). All they tweet are links.

Buying and selling Twitter followers is a notorious practice that cashes in on the tendency of nuff-nuffs to think that the number of followers you have on Twitter actually means anything. As a Fast Company reporter recently discovered, spammers get the cute-lady profile pics by trawling through abandoned MySpazz profiles, online modelling portfolios, glamour photo shoots and low-level sex sites.

I ran the profile pic through TinEye, the reverse image search, and it appears on 73 other websites. These include various prostitution, hookup and porn sites, a thread called "More sea hags" on a powerboating forum, a post called "Tata Thursday" on a boorish clickbait blog directed at dudes, and an insane conspiracy theory blog where it's tagged "God", "Illuminati", "magic" and "Yahweh" and claimed to carry the subliminal message "Give me your planet!"

Who can say what the original source is. The pic also appears in a (technically worksafe) ad for an escort in Orange County: "I'm Amber.... these pics are 100% mine." Yeah, right. The phone number in the ad is a genuine OC number, though.

Sometimes these fake follower mills will also sell Facebook 'likes'. And I suppose for that, they have to create fake Facebook accounts. In March 2012, Facebook admitted it had more than 40 million fake accounts (that's 5-6 per cent of all users). And that's just the officially admitted figure – the real number is likely to be higher still.

What does this mean for a company that trades on its users' transparency and authenticity? Somehow, I figured that Facebook's walled garden would catch ham-fisted bots, and would never actively recommend them to real users.

I think the reason Facebook recommended this spam lady to me is that one of her 'friends' is a silly sausage from outer-eastern Melbourne who has the same surname as me. Perhaps Facebook thinks we are related. I can assure you we are not. He is a first-year uni student and part-time promoter at a city bar that honestly I assumed had gone out of business because it always looks closed every time I go past.

His Facebook profile depressed me; he has not made much private, so I was treated to his moronic status updates and gurning selfies, including a pic of him n00d except for a towel over the crotch. Some of the Pages he 'likes' include Sluts Embarrassing Themselves, Seeing your ex walking the dog and thinking, whose walking who? and Don't chop the Dinosaur Daddy! "ill chop whatever i want you little cunt".

Here are some of the other things he posts:

Don't make me lough! (By the way, that lady with the same surname is his mum. I 'luv' how well she has taught her son to respect women.)


Another one of his Facebook 'interests' is "seeing a hot person near your house and wondering if they live near you". Clearly he figured that if a hot girl says she's from a neighbouring suburb, why not friend her? After all, it's easier than working out. But like MORE FOOL HIM SHE IS A SPAMBOT AND I HAVE REPORTED HER TO FACEBOOK.

I love this post. It made me lough.
I had a Felicia Withwood respond to my ads for a housemate. The with-wood gave it away.....
The People You May Know widget is totally broken. I was just recommended this dude: https://www.facebook.com/hoobert.craig

Seriously? 'Hoobert'?
I had Felicia Withwood too.enquired about house sharing. Sent cheque, it was a fraud cheque !!! Organised with these unscrupulous Nigerian mafia from.South
Africa. I wonder how many.people.have they victimized.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Site Meter