How To ID A Twitter Bot Account? It’s All In The Timing, Study Says

twitter-new-logo-blue Regardless of the content of tweets, it's the timing of those tweets that can help distinguish bots on Twitter from actual individual and corporate accounts. Aldo Faisal and Gabriela Tavares, two researchers from Imperial College London, studied more than 160,000 tweets from personal Twitter accounts, company ("managed") accounts and accounts controlled by bots (found by using online lists of Twitter bots). Their research was published last week. An excerpt from the summary: Periods of high or low Twitter activity and the time between successive tweets could distinguish the three kinds of [...]

Thwart Social Media Crises With Brand New Hootsuite Security Suite Social Tool

HootSuite-Security With the overwhelming number of recent hacks, social media security has been one of the hottest topics in social. The popular social media management platform Hootsuite is looking to capitalize on this growing trend with their new Security Services feature. This new suite of services is available today for all Hootsuite Enterprise clients. Included in the package are: Social Asset Audits This audit form Hootsuite will identify potential breaches before they happen. Included with this is the transition of unsafe accounts to secure access environments. Twitter Security Alerts Hootsu [...]

Twitter Reaches Spam Lawsuit Settlement With Tweet Adder

twitter-legal-law Twitter has settled its lawsuit against Tweet Adder, one of five companies that Twitter sued last year, accusing them of making tools that spread spam across its service. As AllThingsD first reported, the settlement places strict rules on what Tweet Adder is allowed to do with its current software -- primarily, it has to play by all of Twitter's rules. From the settlement document: "Defendants ... are permanently enjoined from directly or indirectly ... creating, developing, manufacturing, adapting, modifying, making available, trafficking in, using, disclosing, selling, licensing, distrib [...]

Planning A Pinterest Contest? Don’t Forget One Pin Is Plenty

pinterest-logo-220 In an attempt to keep marketers from diluting Pinterest's core value of quality over quantity, the image-focused social media site updated contest guidelines earlier this year, adding a list of "Dos" and "Don'ts" for brands wanting to host Pinterest contests. Pinterest's compliance language makes it clear that they are in no way responsible for any promotions hosted on their site, and any brand holding a Pinterest contest must comply with all legal requirements. The list of "Dos" and "Don'ts" offered on Pinterest's Brand Guidelines page give marketers a standard set of rules to follow wh [...]

Pulling The Pin On Spam: Pinterest Begins Permanently Deleting Spammers

pinterest-spam-featured With its incredible rise to popularity, Pinterest has become a big target for spammers. New systems have been implemented to help identify and report spam. The Pinterest quality team has been busy analyzing report data and are now making a move to ban these fraudulent Pinners -- forever. The bans will be "removed for good." Users may see a drop in followers in this clean sweep of spammers. Pinterest estimates that 99% of users will lose less than 10 followers.  The Pinterest team is also exploring ways to prevent these accounts from ever being created in the first place. For more [...]

The Biggest Losers Of The Great Facebook Like Purge Of 2012

facebook-like-featured Over the past two days Facebook has removed millions of fake Likes for pages in an attempt to improve overall integrity. Facebook estimates that less that 1% of Likes on any given Page will be removed. The Like removals will target those Pages that violated Facebook Terms in order to gain Likes. The official statement claims: These newly improved automated efforts will remove those Likes gained by malware, compromised accounts, deceived users, or purchased bulk Likes. While we have always had dedicated protections against each of these threats on Facebook, these improved systems have been [...]

Does Your Company Pay For Social Media Reviews?

Does Your Company Pay for Social Media Reviews? A recent survey from research firm Gartner estimates that by 2014, 10-15% of all reviews left by users on social media sites will be paid for by the companies themselves. While this isn't a new phenomenon, companies may not see the potential downfalls of going overboard when it comes to paid social media interactions and reviews. There is a right way and a wrong way to work with online users to generate content about a business in exchange for cash. For instance, working with well-trafficked bloggers on a paid review campaign that lets them give their honest feedback is a great way to gener [...]

Reddit Bans The Atlantic, Business Week And More For Spamming

Yesterday Redditors noticed a strange error message when trying to submit content from a handful of major news sources, a message that indicated the sites were not allowing due to "spamming and/or cheating."  Reddit, the most popular social news aggregation site, has traditionally been a very open community, but this move is less apparent.  No official blog post, no Tweets from Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian -- just speculation. It has been noted that the bans are only temporary as well.  So far the list of banned domains include: [...]

Facebook, Washington Settle Suits With Alleged ‘Likejacker’

facebook-logo-square Adscend Media, the company accused earlier this year of running "likejacking" campaigns on Facebook, has settled separate lawsuits with both Facebook and the state of Washington. CNET reports that the company agreed on Monday to settlement terms with Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna. In that settlement, Adscend Media agreed to stop spamming Facebook users and to pay $100,000 in attorneys fees -- but they did not admit liability as part of the consent decree. McKenna issued a statement about the settlement: Today's settlement puts a stop to Adscend’s 'likejacking' and other mi [...]

Inside Twitter’s Spam Lawsuit: Fighting Five Defendants Cost More Than $700,000

twitter-legal-law Twitter's costs in fighting the spam created by five defendants it's suing are more than $700,000 -- and that may be a conservative underestimate. The company is seeking full restitution of those costs and other damages, along with an injunction forcing each defendant to stop its activities, as it seeks a jury trial in a San Francisco federal court. We wrote yesterday about Twitter's lawsuit against the five alleged spammers and, now that the filing is available (PDF download), more details are known about Twitter's case. Two Types of Defendants The lawsuit separates the five defendan [...]

Twitter Takes Five Alleged Spammers To Federal Court

twitter-legal-law-featured Twitter filed a federal lawsuit in San Francisco today against five "bad actors" that it says provide tools that are designed to spread spam across Twitter. The five defendants are a mix of companies and individuals: TweetAttacks, TweetAdder, TweetBuddy, James Lucero of and Garland Harris of In a blog post announcing the lawsuit, Twitter calls this group "five of the most aggressive tool providers and spammers." With this suit, we're going straight to the source. By shutting down tool providers, we will prevent other spammers from having these services [...]

Pinterest: We’re “Actively Working” To Fight Spam; It’s A “Tremendous Priority”

pinterest-spam-featured Ask Facebook. Ask Twitter. Ask Google+. Ask just about any social network, but especially one that's become big enough for the U.S. president to join: Building an audience and attracting media attention are great, but they also mean that trouble is on the way -- trouble in the form of spam. That's what Pinterest is facing this week, as spammers are coming out of the woodwork to tell their stories. That link points to a Daily Dot interview with "Steve," a self-admitted Pinterest spammer who has "a stockpile of accounts" and says he's "spamming the crap out of the site." "Steve" says Pinte [...]

Facebook Joins Washington AG In Lawsuits Targeting “Likejacking” Scam

facebook-like-logos Washington state and Facebook have double-teamed on separate lawsuits against Adscend Media, a company that allegedly runs "likejacking" campaigns to collect money and/or personal information from Facebook users. As GeekWire reports, the practice was allegedly adding up to $1.2 million per month to Adscend's coffers. Likejacking, or "clickjacking" as the official release from Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna calls it, is described as follows: Scammers design Facebook Pages to look like they will offer visitors an opportunity to view salacious or provocative content. They condi [...]

The Rise Of Social Spam: 1.5% Of Tweets & < 4% Of Facebook Posts Are Spam

spam-featured The rise of social media has inevitably led to the growth of social spam.  The Wall Street Journal reported that social spam is on the rise and that the social networks are staffing up to combat this issue.  Spam effects over 4 million users every day on Facebook alone.  It's not stopping either; the volume of spam on Facebook is growing faster than their userbase. Typical social spam includes tricking users into liking/sharing content (like-jacking), or the promotion of malware from a 3rd party site.  The trickiest issue with social spam is that the message generally comes from a us [...]

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