Marketing Spam the Facebook Way

Here's a way to market on Facebook: group invitation spam. Am I happy about this? Not at all.

It seems that marketers on Facebook are getting desperate. Today, I checked my email account and was welcomed to the following two messages from two individuals I don’t even know:

Facebook Spam

I’m a bit frustrated. I graduated college several years ago and I use the system to network with old friends and make new friends. The friend invites are fine (and I encourage them from among my readers ;)), but the group invites just aren’t.

I hope that Facebook takes proper measures preventing abuse of their system, especially because I don’t want random people sending me group invites when I’m not in their direct network, and I think that enabling that kind of communication is a nightmare waiting to happen.

However, even though it is annoying, it’s also pretty smart. I could always Adblock the ads I don’t want to see. Gmail and other mailing services generally do a good job flagging emails as spam — and I can whitelist addresses I know are good. Since I assume that Facebook emails are generally well-intentioned, I’m inclined to read all of them, so the email is in my face. And the URL is in my face too. (Now I know that YouTube has a competitor.)

After logging in to confirm some friend invites and reject the group invitations, I saw that I was able to report the groups, and I have done so. I also pointed the administrators to this blog. Hopefully someone will respond and let us know how Facebook is planning on handling such issues. My primary concern is that there’s really no good way of individuals protecting themselves from invites from people they don’t know. Right now, this blatant abuse of the system is just not really the way one is supposed to market effectively using a social network, as I know I’m a little ticked at the way this one was approached.

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