For Every 7 New Social Media Account, 5 New Fake Are Found

I assume most of you are familiar with the term “spam” and have some idea what it’s all about. The you should easily figure out the expression “social spam“.  It sounds almost a bit nicer, but don’t be fooled. Because you are now the main target of organized cyber criminals, infiltrating your social networks, making you into a hidden part of their new botnets for distribution of illegal drugs, child pornography and counterfeit products.

“Social bots and fake accounts are used to infiltrate the victim’s social media world. Together, these new attack methods can significantly detract from a brand’s social media presence and the social marketing ROI.”



The reasearch team at Nextgate have jus released their report “2013 State of Social Media Spam”. Witch, by the way, is up 355 percent in the first half of 2013.  Actually, ,as much as 40% of all social media accounts may have been used to magnify and broaden the spam distribution over the last 2 years, the report says.

phishingE-mail providers have made substantial efforts to block the annoying mass mailing from (alleged) online retailers offering dodgy products and prescription medicine at amazingly low prices. But the initiative seem to only have transformed the problem as spammers have turned to other electronic mediums.

One such vulnerable medium is a “social network” such as Facebook, where social network spam, or “social spam, ” is more difficult to detect. Social spam is more potent than email spam because spammers can hit targeted audiences more easily using a network search tools.

Additionally, instead of being seen only by the recipient during an email spam, a social spam may be seen by the recipient and all of the recipient’s social-network followers. Furthermore, if the recipient’ s content is public, social spam can reach an even wider audience ; In fact, up to 40% of social media accounts have  been used to magnify and broaden spam distribution.

postsIn other words: On contrary to ordinary email spam, that steals your stored email addresses, social spam gain access to your friends list, emails and address books and present itself  as something you’ve posted on your wall to trick more people to click on their link (usually to some porn site…) And the chance that your network is infiltrated is not insignificant…

Here are the main findings in the Nextgate report:

(Download below)

  • During the first half of 2013 there has been a 355% growth of social spam.
  • 5% of all social media apps are spammy.
  • 20% of all spammy apps are found on a brand-owned social media account.
  • Fake social media profiles post greater volumes of content and more quickly than real profiles.
  • Spammers often spam to at least 23 different social media accounts.
  • For every 7 new social media accounts,  5 new spammers are detected.
  • Facebook and YouTube provide the most spam content compared to other social media networks. The ratio of spam on Facebook or YouTube to the other social networks is 100 to1.
  • More spammers are found on Facebook and YouTube than any other social networks.
  • 15% of all social spam contains a URL, often to spammy content, pornography or malware.
  • Facebook contains the highest number of phishing attacks and personally identifiable information – more than 4 times the other social media networks.
  • YouTube contains the highest number of risky content, or content containing profanity  threats, hates speech ,and insults. For every 1 piece of risky content found on other social media networks, there are 5 pieces of risky content on YouTube.
  • The rate of spam is growing faster than the rate of comments on branded social media accounts.
  • 1 in 200 social media messages contain spam, including lures to adult content and malware.

The thing is, however, that spam has gone from being a pain in the ass to something more serious.

A Triple-Treat

It represents a tripletreat  to marketing ROI if a pages’ audience clicks on the spammer’s ad instead of the brand’s ad. Basically, it means the brand loses their targeted advertising opportunity, the spammer gets a chance to improve their website at the expense of the brand, and the brand hurts trust with their audience by letting them be victimized.

As more spam content is seen, the potential for the brand and its message to be diluted is increased, and trust is eroded with followers and fans. Because the brand is not protecting against spammers or fake accounts,it is a ls wasting financial resources since spammer sand fake accounts provide meaningless Like sand comments.

social smam up 300

Seems like the “Endless Stream of Purified Nonsense” will continue for eternity….

A New Problem

Fake profiles, fake websites, fake products,,,,but fake content!?

spam vs comments

“As seen from the graph above, which is plotted over a twomonth period, the growth rate of social spam for this social account increasing faster than the growth rate of comments. More whilethe rate of comments is growing linearly, the rate of social spam is growing exponentially. During the month of April 2013, the number of posts and comments on the brand’s social account grew about 20%, with an increase in spam of 5%. During May2013, content grew by approximately 68%, but spam grew to around 60%. Therefore, even though the social media brand was taking appropriate action to increase social media activity and brand awareness, they were not able to control the social media spam at their account. Thus, not only did the rate of the social spam increase, the rate of social spa grew faster than the rate of posts and comments,which added to the dilution of brand reputation.”

But perhaps the most  important lesson  to learn from the Nestgate study is this:

“The more the brand owning this social media account grows in activity,  the more abuse they unleash on their audience, and the more they increase their opportunity cost and decrease marketing ROI.”

Vaughly related:

All Human Rights Reserved (h) 2013


7 thoughts on “For Every 7 New Social Media Account, 5 New Fake Are Found

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