Tag Archive | "spam"

“Clean Diesel” agency spams Venmo customers for charity donations

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Periscope Now Lets Users Moderate Comments During Broadcasts

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Periscope has launched the ability to moderate comments during broadcasts. Now, when users see inappropriate comments, they can flag them as abuse or spam. After they flag a comment, the application will randomly select a few viewers and ask them to vote on whether the comment was spam, abuse or OK. Periscope said the system may also identify “commonly reported phrases.”

Once a vote has taken place, if the majority of voters found the comment offensive, the poster will be notified that their ability to chat in the stream has been temporarily disabled. If the user commits repeat offenses, they’ll be blocked from chatting for the rest of the broadcast. Either way, the original user who reported the commenter will no longer see posts from that user for the rest of the broadcast.

Periscope allows broadcasters to turn off comment moderation for their streams. Users can also opt out so they’re not selected to vote when comments are flagged.

Periscope commented:

There are no silver bullets, but we’re committed to developing tools to keep Periscope a safe and open place for people to connect in real-time. We look forward to working closely with you and everyone else in the community to improve comment moderation.

Readers: What do you think of Periscope’s new comment moderation feature?

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Dissection of a Facebook Spammer and What You Can Learn From It

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Have you seen a rise in sneaky ads on Facebook?

I saw this link bait on Facebook, apparently on a feud between Stephen Curry and LeBron James–two National Basketball Association superstars.

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And it brought me to what looks like ESPN.

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The URL is a bit suspect, but most people won’t notice that, especially in modern browsers.

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Reading the first couple paragraphs of this “article,” I almost believed it was real, but notice the slight awkwardness that’s a dead giveaway of fake article sites.

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This one is well-done, as it isn’t jammed full of spelling mistakes–a telltale sign of the white 18-year-old males who predominantly create these landing pages.

Scroll a bit further into how James supposedly admits that he only used steroids twice and you get links to these substances he allegedly used, then on to spam in its full glory.

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Heck, if LeBron is using it, as “ESPN” is telling me, I might just fall for it–especially if I’m an 18-year-old male myself.

Scroll a bit further and you get a Facebook comments box that looks legit.

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Of course, nothing is clickable, except links to the pills they’re peddling.

And if you click through to the product page, you can see they exposed their affiliate tracking.

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Notice they’re pretty smart about testing their landing page and ad combos–minus the fact that they’re not cloaking their links. Cloaking, for those who don’t play in the affiliate space, is masking your URLs so that competitors and snoops can’t see which affiliate you are, what traffic you’re bidding on and so forth.

This pill company is a Wyoming company filed with a generic registered agent. And it has private registration to try to hide who it is here, too:

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Their privacy policy is a template used by others in this space (they’re called “rebills” or “continuity” products–a euphemism for recurring subscription charges).

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Notice that it is doing this on ESPN, USA Today and all manner of sites.

The reason this works is because of a principle called “implied authority,” exercised in this way:

  • An “article,” not an ad that appears interesting– sports rivalries are hot topics.
  • Posted on an authoritative news site–a fake ESPN, in this case.
  • A gradual progression from sports facts to full-on performance-enhancement claims, normally taking two to three pages to blend smoothly.
  • Fake comments as social proof.

By merely copying the look of ESPN, Facebook or other high-authority websites, parasites can siphon trust.

What amazes me is not that spammers keep doing this (I chatted with one today that has a fake Steph Curry Facebook page and who didn’t see that it was clear infringement/impersonation) or that people still fall for this. I saw another one in the Digital Marketer Facebook group (one of my favorite communities) where this seller of marketing training straight-up ripped off the website (words, colors and all) from digitalmarketer.com.

Rather, gaining authority legitimately is not that much harder. And when you have it done right–via the six phases of personal branding and the sux phases of the Social Amplification Engine–you have sustainable results.

We’ve seen ploys like this since the beginning of Facebook and even since the beginning of search (back in 1999, nearly 20 years ago).

Can you imagine how the new wave of chatbots will create new forms of spam, too?

I’m not worried about spam getting out of control, any more than rain being a nuisance in New York City. Just get an umbrella and make sure to check the weather reports.

Warning: Spam image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Telegram encourages devs to build bots with $1M giveaway

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telegram botprize

Throttle combines all your annoying emails into one daily digest

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What Is Facebook’s Datr Cookie, and Why Does Belgium Want It Gone?

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Article courtesy of SocialTimes Feed

‘Everyone Will Know?’ Not on Facebook Last Week

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Article courtesy of SocialTimes Feed

Truecaller Launches Truemessenger SMS App to Combat Mobile Spam

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Article courtesy of SocialTimes Feed

Report: How Social Spam Distorts Data Insights

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Social media is riddled with spam. Up-and-coming networks attract spam as they grow quickly, and older networks have to deal with ever more sophisticated bots. A new report from Networked Insights examines how spam and bots distort the insights brands try to gain from social media.

According to the report, nine percent of all users tweeting in English are non-consumers, and these accounts represented 15 percent of all tweets. Networked Insights defines non-consumers as “social bots, celebrities, brand handles and inactive accounts.”

As a result of this non-consumer content, much of the social data collected by social data scientists is ‘dirty.’ The New York Times reports that data scientists spend 50 to 80 percent of their time just cleaning up data before it can be analyzed. Weeding out the spam and other false data points slows down the process and makes it harder to gain real insights from data sets.

Social spam is defined by Networked Insights as coupon postings, product listings, contests and giveaways, which combined, make up nearly six percent of social posts. Adult content makes up less than three percent of posts, and general spam such as gibberish makes up a little more than one percent.

Different networks have varying levels of social spam. Nearly 30 percent percent of forum posts are social spam, nearly 20 percent of blogs and comments are spam, and more than nine percent of tweets are social spam.

chartMany brands are overrun by this spam. 95 percent of the conversation around Rite Aid and Elizabeth Arden, 81 percent of the conversation around Visa is social spam. This kind of negative atmosphere could erode trust in these brands.

Very little of this social spam comes from real consumers. 53 percent of the content is generated by social bots, 23 percent comes from verified and brand accounts, and 11 percent comes from accounts that have been suspended, cancelled or disabled by Twitter.

Networked Insights used the food and beverage vertical to analyze the effect of removing spam from the conversation. The clustered data before spam removal showed large focuses on beer, pizza, coffee, cake, and adult content. After all the spam was removed from the conversation — 14 percent of all posts — nuanced conversations began to emerge.

This more nuanced conversation included topics such as vegan eating and ethnic fast food. The implication here is that relying on a dirty data set could in inaccurate audience targeting, and  misinterpreting what their audience really cares about.

Dirty data could also impact things like industry benchmarking.  For instance, it could be hard to compare two brands operating in the same vertical, but have vast disparity between the amount of spam they receive.

Networked Insights suggests removing spam from your data sets before trying to analyze what consumers are talking about. By doing so, your brand will have a clear understand of your customers’ interests, and the granular conversations could present new opportunities for your business.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes Feed

Facebook Releases ThreatExchange API Documentation

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WhyThreatExchangeFacebook introduced ThreatExchange last month as a way for tech companies to share information about malware and other security threats, and the social network announced Friday that the application-programming-interface documentation for ThreatExchange, as well as the PHP and Python reference code, are now available on GitHub.

Facebook threat infrastructure team manager Mark Hammell also offered details on how graph-based sharing of threat intelligence works in a note on the ThreatExchange page:

The first thing to understand about the design of ThreatExchange is that it’s a subset of APIs residing within the much larger set of Graph APIs used by third-party developers to programmatically interact with Facebook. Much like any other third-party developer, a ThreatExchange member starts by creating a Facebook platform application and then uses it to query or post threat data into ThreatExchange. Once Facebook grants access to a developer’s application, they interact with ThreatExchange by issuing RESTful API calls to the Facebook platform. This API based approach works well for our current members, all of whom are looking to integrate the data available via ThreatExchange into their existing security systems. ThreatExchange data doesn’t show up, or have any link, to the personal Facebook accounts of the application owners or people who use them.

Another core design component of ThreatExchange is that the data is modeled in what mathematicians and computer scientists commonly call a graph. This design — the same one Facebook uses to represent your Facebook account and connections between friends — lends itself very well to representing real-world interactions between threats like malware, bad domains and spammy URLs.

We will continue using this page to provide details about the design, functionality and new features of ThreatExchange. We are growing the platform slowly at this stage to ensure that it works well for all members, but our long-term goal is that organizations anywhere will be able to use these features of ThreatExchange to share threat information more easily, learn from each other’s discoveries and make everyone’s systems safer.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes Feed

July 2016
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