Social spam is taking over the Internet

Bogus accounts and fake comments planted by spambots -- get ready for the future of the social Web.

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It’s easy to see why – Jessica is cute as a button, and the male tech journos I know will click on anything that looks hot in 125 pixels or more. Unfortunately, she’s also fictional. A Tineye search reveals that her photo is really that of Japanese porn star Maria Ozawa.  A Google search for “Jessica Ceceli” finds nothing, nada, zip. For a Facebook user who’s got a thing for technologists, that’s more than a bit unlikely.

Why is someone using an adult actress to lure tech journos into a Facebook friendship? It could be a sleeper cell getting prepared to pepper our timelines with “Likes” for products being paid for by “Jessica’s” employer. In any case, this kind of tactic has been used for some time. Now we are starting to see the reasons behind it.

[UPDATE: "Jessica" has changed her Facebook handle to "Nadja Castelle." Also, he/she uploaded a different picture of Maria Ozawa. And still none of her 'friends' seem to have noticed.]

The other big thing that’s different about social spam? Unlike the email variety, it’s not illegal. That needs to change. Until then, though, brace yourselves for an onslaught of social spam, where no comment forum is safe, and you’re never sure whether the hottie who just friended/followed you is really just a bot. (Trust me, she is.)

Got a question about social media? TY4NS blogger Dan Tynan may have the answer (and if not, he’ll make something up). Visit his snarky, occasionally NSFW blog eSarcasm or follow him on Twitter: @tynan_on_tech. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-to’s, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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