NEWS FROM THE LAB - Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I May Never Text Again: More Facebook Spam Posted by Sean @ 16:50 GMT

Today we have an example of yet another Facebook spam (YAFS).

This particular spam links to a Facebook Page called "I May NEVER T�XT AGAIN After Reading THI$!!".

I May NEVER T�XT AGAIN After Reading THI$!!

As you can see, there are over 200 thousand likes.

The Facebook user must click the Like button in order to continue.


But not really. Let's skip step 1 and take a look at the selection source.

selection source

Step 2 requests (but doesn't enforce) sharing the Page and step 3 provides a link to Blogger.


JavaScript for a CPAlead (an affiliate marketing vendor) kicks in when you visit the Blogger page.

This actually surprised us as we wouldn't have expected Google to allow this sort of thing on a page hosted at blogspot.com.

CPAlead Survey

In order to view the Blogger page, you have to fill out a survey.

But not really. A browser add-on such as NoScript can be used to disable the JavaScript and view the page. Adblock Plus also works.

The "Never Texting Again" blog looks like this once you disable the survey.

Never Texting Again

The Blogger page was created in May 2010 and simply copies this switched.com article from September 2008.

So how many people filled out the survey in order to view the page? That's difficult to say as there aren't any counters on the page.

Another similarly themed spam link from June 29th offers a hint:


There were nearly 300 thousands clicks on the bit.ly link…

But remember — clicks don't equal conversions.

The bit.ly statistics show that the link was only liked 3048 times.

That's just a one percent conversion rate from Clicks to Likes (step 1 to step 2). And as we mentioned yesterday, even fewer people appear to fill out the surveys (step 3).

Yes. The links do "spread virally". But as a wise man once wrote: Don't Panic!

The links are just spam, and the majority of people recognize it as such — just like e-mail spam, which also links to surveys, scams, and dubious offers.

This spammer has several Blogger pages:

My Blogs

And they all seem to fit Google's definition of spam:

Google's definition of spam

So we reported the entire account to Google.

Done, and done.

We don't really care for the sort of "news" that CPA spammers continue to hype — and you probably don't either — but perhaps you have a friend that frequently falls for this sort of spam? Then check out Bypass Facebook Fan Pages. The site tracks Facebook spam and links to the material on which the CPA affiliates are trying to capitalize. They also have a Twitter account.

Cut the spammers out of the loop.