Do Not Trust Facebook Messages from Friends Until…

First of all, my sincere apologies to all my Facebook friends who got “my” invite into a “Check who has blocked you on Facebook” app earlier this morning. I received a similar Facebook message from a someone I trust and regard highly, and clicked the link. Apparently, this circulated the spam around my own friends, and before I figured out what was going on, it was too late…

Of course, I immediately posted a warning on my Facebook account, and received the following replies:

spammy Facebook app

Lesson for me learn: do not trust Facebook messages from friends until Facebook sorts out its anti-spam/-scam mechanisms.

Advice to Facebook:

  1. Manually approve invites-generating apps
  2. Introduce thresholds for the number of invites to be sent out through an app (sudden spikes should raise red flags)
  3. Introduce a  mechanism for monitoring spikes in “likes” too (more below)
  4. Once a violator is exposed, ban not only the app, but also the developer of the app
  5. Make it possible for users to uninvite people, or somehow reverse the process of a spammy invite if it happens

Until this happens, the customer satisfaction with Facebook will just continue to fall.

By the way, I still don’t understand how a spammy app like this could get 7,000+ “likes”:

Facebook's "like" function abused

Seems that the “like” button is quickly becoming one of Facebooks most often abused tools [see this recent post of mine too].

7 thoughts on “Do Not Trust Facebook Messages from Friends Until…”

  1. I got this e-mail on Facebook from you yesterday…. When realized what it was about, it was too late – probably most of my friends received the same e-mail from you. Facebook really needs to pay close attention to these sort of things.

  2. This is crazy, and once again, I apologize, Vlad.

    By the very nature of it, Facebook app spam is the deadliest, because it comes looking as if a friend (or an industry leader, as was the case with the invite I myself reacted to) endorsed it.

  3. Geno- sorry you had to learn this lesson the hard way. I luckily have not had the displeasure of this happening. I decided very early on in my Facebook life that it was a communication tool and nothing more. I do not use it for entertainment, I do not play games, or send virtual “goodies” to friends. I do not answer questions or quizzes and allow as little access to my information as possible. Although the amount of access they require for both facebook and the Blackberry facebook app is still more than I like, I just accept that for use of the tool. I would recommend to you and to all to just set a rule for yourself to not play or respond to any “apps,games,quizzes,etc.” I only see this getting worse than better for the time being. If there is a way for these scammy people to find a loophole, they will find it. We have to be on guard.

    Cheers to a safe facebooking future.

  4. I haven’t payed a single computer game in my life, and neither am I into quizzes or apps, or anything else. That’s the whole irony of things! Facebook = a circle of friends (people you trust, respect, want to know). That is also its biggest vulnerability. Once one “friend” gets into the trap of clicking something they shouldn’t click, a snowball effect hits thousands, if not hundreds of of thousands of others.

  5. That is true! Very good point. Which goes back to your original point. Facebook is the provider or services, they need to come up with a way to police and approve these apps better.

  6. Looks like the old animal is back under a new name! Watch out for a “Check who has deleted you” Facebook group. I’ve just received a friend’s invite.

  7. My “invite” to see who had blocked me was from Vlad and Geno but I figured it was an “app scam” because I didn’t think either of you cared. I didn’t click. My attitude is “go ahead and block me — I don’t care” 😀

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