Spammers Like “Use Facebook as Page”

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Do you “like” things on Facebook? Spammers like things, too, and they’re using Facebook’s “Like” function to put their obnoxious schemes and shameless missives everywhere.

Facebook assumed they were doing Facebook Page administrators a favor when they added the option to “Use Facebook as Page.” This meant that customized Facebook pages could Like, post, and comment around the site just as regular profile users do.

It didn’t take long for spammers to realizes by using their page as a profile and “Liking” others’ pages, they could spread their message and elude the Facebook police.

It works like this: If you Like a post on someone’s Facebook page, your user name automatically links back to your page or profile. While you can ban users for posting spam on your wall and delete the offending posts or comments, you can’t automatically banish someone for Liking one of your posts on your profile or page. You can’t even unlike their Like. You have to report the user as a spambot, then wait for Facebook’s administrators to deal with them.

Not that we’re encouraging anyone, but there’s another method to use Like spam. ReadWriteWeb showed how easy it is to create your own Like button for your Facebook page that surreptitiously causes the user to Like another page they’ve never visited. University of Michigan computer science Ph.D. candidate Arnab Nandi explained that by tricking someone into Liking a page, you automatically place a link to the other page in that user’s Newsfeed. Since the average Facebook user has about 130 friends, the spammer’s message reaches a fair lot of people without minimal effort. Even worse, since it looks like the original poster approved of the spammer’s venture through their Like, their friends are more likely (no pun intended, really) to check it out.

Facebook recently added new spam prevention measures like hiding posts with suspicious links and turning the text in questionable posts grey so that page administrators can quickly identify problems. But since the two Like spam methods above are relatively new, it’s carte blanche for enterprising “Like” spammers.

We’re pretty sure Facebook’s working on a fix. Then again, we’re sure spammers are devising new ways to annoy us, too.

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