Aug
21
2011

AP: Facebook can’t tell anti-fracking fanatics from spambots.

Just thought that I’d rewrite this title (“Facebook’s spam program catches innocent users“) into something a bit more accurate. Executive summary: anti-fracking* activists – and more general environmental… types… – have been discovering that their regular posting and commenting patterns on Facebook has been winning them two week spam-bans from Facebook.  Now, Facebook obviously doesn’t particularly want to give out its anti-spambot protocols, but you can pickup some clues from the (somewhat confused, in a hilarious sort of way) complaints. It turns out that if you go on Facebook and:

  • comment multiple times a day on posts about one specific topic;
  • post comments in rapid succession;
  • never, ever post anything else;
  • always include links (this was not said, but I’m betting that people were always posting the same links);
  • and haunt one particular page;

…then you run a high risk that Facebook’s automated anti-spam software will judge that you’re a spambot, and give you a fifteen-day block in response.  And do you know something? Facebook’s automated anti-spam software is correct.  You are a spambot: you’re just a Luddite spambot who lacks the expertise to automate the process properly.  And do you know what happens to spambots, at best?  That’s right: they get tuned out.

So maybe some people should take Facebook’s subtle, if probably unintentional, hint.

Via Drudge.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: There are many, many, Luddite spambots out there, by the way – all posting away on a variety of topics.  And, yes, some of them are nominally on my side of the spectrum.  I am thankful for my spam blockers.

*Hydraulic fracking is a method where fluid is injected into a deposit of oil or gas in order to increase extraction rates.  It’s the current trendy cause among the radical Greenies, and I fully expect to get Luddite spambots earnestly telling me how horrible the whole thing is.  Did I mention that I am thankful for my spam blockers?

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