MySpace Spam

This is an example of a MySpace spam profile, it’s very convincing—see if you can spot the ad. I think this phenomenon is under-reported. They are using data from your profile—location, age, romantic preferences—to highly target messages and “adds.” Seventeen hundred friends. It would be interesting to know the growth of spam on social networks like MySpace is as high as email or comments. The incentives are there.

34 thoughts on “MySpace Spam

  1. I’ve been getting a lot of these messages just over the past week or so, and they took me by surprise; I set up a MySpace profile before deciding the entirety of MySpace was dire and of no interest to me. My profile was barebones – I hadn’t bothered with it, really – and so the flood of people wanting to be my friend was, to say the least, mysterious and odd. I had no idea this new variant of spam was happening. Now it all makes sense. Thank you!

    MySpace is ugly and how it became so popular is beyond me. Plus it’s a Murdoch-owned enterprise and that alone makes me want to run away. x

  2. I recently signed up for MySpace to promote my website and have been really appalled to see these spam pages trying to become my “friends.” One recent ridiculous one had in “her” profile: “I enjoy talking about sex, football and filling out online surveys for money. Here’s my favorite survey site…” I did report one that was spam that seemed to be promoting having sex with teenage girls. Who knows if my complaint form really reached a real MySpace customer service person.

    One thing I wonder, though, because I am slightly naive: Do you think these spam pages really have thousands of legitimate “friends”? Are there guys dumb enough to actually fall for this garbage? Or all the friends just made up by the spammers?

  3. I’ve had a number of invitations to join “web cam” groups, all spam of course, is it really worth that much effort for the rewards from spam?

  4. Yeah, myspace spam is prevalent though obviously not to the degree and sophistication as email/comment spamming. You can get friend adders that will add like 50 friends a day (just under the threshold of myspace’s detection algorithms for suspicious behavior) and then when the profile hits 10,000 you can start spamming and jamming.

  5. Andy, that’s quite a short-sighted view.

    MySpace reached amazing page counts and profile numbers long before Murdoch bought it. Since purchasing it, he’s been credited (or vilified) for trying to clean things up a bit.

    I agree that the site itself is ugly and crap. The Murdoch shot reminds me of the weasel partisans who lobbied to blot out the sun because Democrats are pro-sunshine.

  6. There is a lot of improvement that needs to be added to myspace. Security, spam detection, code filtering, etc. Every once in a while I will see a bulleting that says, please be careful that you are actually on myspace.com and not another page while entering your login information. Then it happened to me, i was sending out bulletins that i personally did not send out. Also the overal asthetics could use improvement, but then again people are using it as is, so why improve…. right?? (integrity)

  7. Matt, are you talking about the “dating ad here” link? I don’t dare click on it since I’m sitting in the middle of the library.

    I wonder what would happen though if this was reported as spam. There are too many hosts out there who think nothing of something like this and look the other way or don’t believe it to be spam. I’m going around with servepath.com currently as they’re hosting a site who’s copying complete posts or mine and sticking in their own links. Lots of fun.

  8. To badMike: It depends. There are methods to force someone as a friend, but that usually doesn’t happen with these spammers. They actually want to build up a group of actual ‘friends’ for marketing purposes. It’s surprising how often this works.

    Face it, your average myspacer (male – can I make that claim?) is going to be ‘friends’ with a profile if they’ve got an attractive photo of a girl or two. Just check out the comments on the OP’s link. What kind of people do you think these are? (Of course, you may also notice posts that seem like they are from nice enough people.)

    If you can get a profile with a large enough number of friends, you can then sell the profile for fairly good money. It’s a marketer’s heaven, if they sink that low …

    A method I saw recently is detailed over at http://www.burntpickle.com/articles/fake-myspace-profiles/ If you run into fakes often enough in your daily crawlings, I’d recommend it. You may not be doing much good, but … you never know.

  9. I don’t get that much myspace spam, and when I get the requests I jsut delete them. I ONLY have “friends” that I actually know on my list, as well as a couple celebrity myspace pages so I can follow their upcoming tour schedules. But any request or email I get from someone not on my list? Promptly deleted.

  10. I’ve reported several of these in the past, one of the worst manipulating all the links on the page to point to a porn site … including Myspace’s internal navigation.

    The response I got from them on that one was that they didn’t see it violating their TOS at all, to which I replied that I’d keep it in mind next time I wanted to over ride the nav.

    The wierdest part was that, out of the handful I’d reported, that was the only time I’d ever gotten a response from them.

    Strange place.

    crank!

  11. I must’ve gotten into MySpam.com too late, because only spammers would ever contact me. But I am also probably much older than the average myspacer. I wonder if there’s a way to bring in the networking aspects of myspam to WordPress.com so you could find people with similar interests (besides the technorati-like tag surfing).

  12. MySpace need to build in some community moderation tools like (dare I say) my arch-enemy digg. If 4 users mark a bulletin or a forum post as spam it should be taken offline and put in a moderation queue (or deleted). Any user has more than 4 bulletins/posts flagged as spam they too get moderated.

    Better still – chuck akismet over the whole damn thing.

    I’ve got a profile on MySpace and was just invited by a young family friend onto Bebo. OMG – that site makes MySpace look like an untouched idyll.

  13. I blogged about this exact same thing today. I also have a completely uncustomised profile and received the same (or similar) NSFW webcam affiliate link. Man, I hate MySpace.

  14. I’m on MySpace, and cottoned onto the Spammers pretty quickly. Yes there are some out there, and unfortunately MySpace won’t do anything about it unless you tell them – presumably because so many people are on there they don’t have time to check all the profiles.
    I pointed them in the direction of a profile of a ’14-year old male’, who had pornographic images of (presumably himself) and various girls plastered all over his home page. I only saw it because it was one of their “hot new people” on the Home Page – and what was worse, was one of the images was his primary picture!
    I informed MySpace of it, and it took them 3 days before they replied saying it wasn’t breaking their TOS… wtf?! It’s amazing how quickly the respond to threats of legal action though…
    I’ve never tried Bebo… Think I might give it a go though, but all my friends (real friends! haha) are on MySpace – oh one last thing about MySpace – not all the celebrity profiles are genuine… Although some of them are. Just be careful folks!

  15. What causes spam bulletins to be sent out and what can I do about it? My son said this happened to him and that he had a strange friend, but that he deleted her so now I can’t even trace it. Should I just delete his whole myspace? “He” sent out a couple more bulletins last night, even after he deleted it. I’m thinking, with my somewhat limited myspace knowledge, that just because he deleted her doesn’t mean she deleted him, and that would be all she’d need to spam his ‘friends’ with bulletins?

    Raise the MySpace age to 18! Of course, they all lie anyway.

  16. The easiest was to ensufre that only real people are asking to add you to there friends it to simply have myspace set up so that the people that request have to know your last name or email address to add you.

  17. What about the spam that is comming from people and don’t even know they are sending it. I have a few people on my list that started deleting some of their code because they thought they had some sort of bad script. After everything is deleted I still get her “come see my webcam” posts. Is this related to a site gaining access while myspace is open?

  18. @Kitty – No, Myspace maintains friend relationships only as long as both parties claim to be friends. Deleting a friend will completely destroy the link between two people.

    @Tom – I would dare say that the 2000+ people that friended the photo (not the person) in Matt’s link would begin posting their last name or email address; tantalizing images of women is a powerful motivator, and spammers would use that to get even more info on these people.

  19. Ike, a person is entitled to avoid social networking sites owned by huge multinational corporations if s/he wants to. There’s nothing short-sighted about that and it has no comparison to the tired old joke you related, which only exists to try to undermine any ethical approach to how we live our lives and choose what we will and won’t do. Are you saying we can’t make choices based on our dislike of such corporations and the men like Murdoch who own them? Who are you to say?

    I was expressing personal opinion; please respect that. You’re entitled to your own view, so allow me to operate from what my own conscience dictates. You’re right, MySpace was hugely popular before it was bought by Murdoch. I didn’t say it wasn’t but it is owned by him now and I didn’t go near it then or now. The fact that it is a vehicle for spammers, much like Blogger, only makes it more unappealing than it was before. At least we agree the design is ugly. It’s as mystifying to me why MySpace is so popular as it is to try to fathom why puffball skirts and mullet haircuts took off in the 80s and were ever seen as attractive and desirable.

    MySpace is the heavily-patterned vinyl wallpaper of social networking sites. It does the job but without any aesthetic appeal.

  20. i spam on myspace and make close to 3 thousand dollars a month doing it. stop crying and start making the most of this stupid website

  21. i have a spam and i didnt mean for it to come to me dosnt anyone know how to get these things to go away im so sick of them

  22. I’ve got a profile on myspace and I’ve been flagged. I have now stopped receiving messages and my sent messages are not being read. I’m not a spammer and never been abusive. Does anyone know how long the flagged process lasts? I want to be able to read and reply to messages ok again.

  23. MySpace SPAM BULLETINS SENT FROM MY ACCOUNT WITH OUT MY KNOWLEDGE

    Sent to MySpace customer support:

    I have been having security problems with my MySpace account recently.
    A. For the past several months I have noticed that spam bulletins have been sent from my account. It didn’t matter what computer I logged in from (home, friends, Internet cafe), when I logged into my account
    via MS Internet Explorer, spam bulletins were generated from my account, promoting ring tones, free give away, etc. I informed MySpace about this but got some boilerplate response about getting anti-virus software for my computer. This is clearly not being generated from my computer.
    B. I got fed up the other day and sent out a bulletin notifying everyone on my recipient list that none of the promotional spams were sent by me, but were due to some kind of security breach in MySpace.
    C. I decided to change my password when I sent that bulletin. Just now (Sunday, Oct 15, 2006 ~9:45pm) I tried to log in using my new password, and keep getting the message “Invalid Login. Please try again.” I tried my old password and received the same message. I used the MySpace Forgot your password? service and received my new password via email. The password I’ve been using to login today is correct, and still I get the message “Invalid Login. Please try again.” I cleaned out my cookies and temporary internet files, as instructed in your FAQ answer, but it’s still not letting me in (using both IE and Firefox). So, inspite of the fact that I’m using the correct username and password, I’m locked out of my account.

    What’s going on?

    Wo, this gets trippier n trippier…
    After posting the question/request for help to customer support (above), under their ‘Can’t login’ category, I thought I’d resend it to another category, to raise the volume a bit.
    So, I go back to the main Contact My Space page, and select from the pull-menu: Reporting Abuse > Spammers, which brings up this:

    Preliminary Response to Question
    The FAQs below may be relevant to your question:
    * How do I block a user?
    * Where do I report spammers?
    * What do I do about the weird spam bulletins being posted through my account?

    “*What do I do about the weird spam bulletins…” is linked to this page http://www.myspace.com/Modules/Help/Pages/HelpCenter.aspx?Category=2&Question=44
    which HAS NO INFORMATION ON IT ABOUT THIS TOPIC. It’s the MySpace Spam Bulletins flyingdutchfaq!

    I write this on a machine which has just been rebuilt and is fully protected with AVG, a firewall, Ewido. I’ve had these issues on various machines, using various browsers, so it’s clearly not a PC/client side issue. It’s on their servers or in some other aspect of account security.

    And, MySpace user support has no help or information about this. How long will this go on before it becomes a big joke and turn-off scame because too many people realize MySpace is increasingly bullshit, increasingly phoney accounts, profiles, and scam/spam communications?

    Of course, News Corp/Murdoch deserve to lose every last penny, especially if they allow/help it to turn into garbarge.

  24. I think there is some kind of bug that causes spam… i don’t know, this is what happened to me today:

    It worked just fine but then i noticed the links of the myspace navegational bar (Home, Browse, Search, etc) send me to a website outside myspace.

    Then i received a warning from myspace telling me “your account has been flagged”… i didn’t know what to do because i really didn’t do anything against the rules, i dont have “layouts made by XXXX site” or stuff like that… then i received another warning…

    I went to “Profile edit” and turns out a piece of code that i didn’t put was there in the “About me” and “Movies” field… i deleted it and then changed my passwrod… it worked ok again… but then i received another message telling me “Ultimatum from Myspace”.

    I noticed some friends in my list had the same problem with the navigational bar… even worst… i noticed that my problem started when a friend of mine leaved a comment on my space, i think my account got infected and then i infected another friend’s space when i leaved a comment… that’s why i think it is some kind of bug

    Please if anybody know how to fix it let me know!! (but i don’t think i would be abble to save my account, they already sent me an ultimatum but haven’t read any of my emails).

  25. What Julio said helped me a lot! Thank you! Although my profile wasn’t flagged my navigation bar was screwed up too. So I went and deleted the stuff I didn’t put in my about me section and movies section and changed my password. The only problem is some of my friends’ pages are like that too, so hopefully it won’t go back. But thanks!

  26. has anyone seen a bulleting under the name “deleting my old account, add my new one”?, i ask this because i thought my friend was actually chaging it so i went to check it out and it took me to another website. soon after that i seem to be infected but i have no weird codes when i revice my profile or anithing. and oh the bulleting the bulletin body was, “751f9514d2″.

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