Spamming Social Networks is a No-No

Today, DazzlinDonna wrote a very timely piece on social network spammers. It’s been so applicable lately as I’m beginning to be befriended by anyone and everyone on just about every social network.

In the past several weeks, my Twitter accounts have been friended up by porn solicitors and people looking to market websites that I’m just not interested in. My Flickr friends, on the other hand, are only friending up people who are obviously female. And let’s not forget MyBlogLog spam, though it’s gotten much better lately, and Orkut spam.

I got my first bit of Facebook spam in December. Today, it overflowed to the friend realm. These look like link exchange emails. Here’s my most recent friend request:

Hi happy
nice meet to you
i am randomly invitation through your friend
i want to have a good friend
thank you.

Thanks… but uh, no thanks.

(On a similar note, I got a bit of Digg spam lately too in the form of comments on my blog:

Really Annoying Digg Spam

Really, thanks for spamming your story. Most stories on Digg, however, get promoted within the initial 24 hours, not 5 days later.

They’re trying this with other social news sites, like Netscape, too.)

In the social sphere, there is a point where personal connections matter. I actually have 625 friends on Facebook, and all of them are connected to me in some way, whether it is through college, elementary school, summer programs, work, the blogosphere, or the industry. (I’ll probably post statistics one of these days. And while that the number might seem high, I’ve also been on Facebook since April of 2004.)

And so, if I’ve inadvertently rejected you, I didn’t mean to either. But be yourself. Set up a profile. Introduce yourself and show me how we’re connected. Donna says it quite well:

It actually pains me to reject a friend request. I feel as though I am hurting someoneís feelings. And if you arenít a social spammer, then perhaps I am, but I donít mean to. Next time, pump up your profile, give me a clue that you are at least someone who knows me, even if I donít know you, and that Iím not wasting my time looking at your request or your profile. We donít have to be best buds to be social friends, but we should at least be connected by some thin thread.

And while you’re at it, guys, let’s chill with the application requests. I’m not trying to spam my Facebook profile either. ūüôā

All My Facebook Requests

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4 replies on “Spamming Social Networks is a No-No”
  1. Well written and thought out. I am a stranger who got lucky and caught you before you felt a siege coming on.

    I had a friend who friended you, I mean there were stepping stones that led to you. You check the friends of friends of friends. When I did it, just starting on Twitter, I was trying to build a small audience.

    You got friended by me in a roundabout way, but I was sincerely interested in your messages and insights. I lucked out, but was not spamming people to get strangers to follow my tweets just for the heck of it.

    Thanks for your wisdom imparted on Twitter. Glad to have met you.

  2. Vaspers, I am pleased to have met you. Your Tweets are interesting and I can tell that you’re genuine.

    The issue as of late is exploitation of these social networks. When you befriended me, I was skeptical because we hadn’t had any chats before, but you made a concentrated effort and contacted me through my blog. Believe it or not, that sealed the deal and it distinguished you from the other requests I’ve been receiving. A lot are spammy. A lot come from people who don’t personalize their page in any way except to plaster their Twitter wallpaper with NSFW images. Sorry, not for me.

    I have also read your blog, so you weren’t a nobody to me. ūüôā

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