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 users’s actual friends and can be personalized. Facebook stated that “less than” 4% of all posts were spam and in 2010 Twitter noted that 1.5% of all Tweets were spam.
This is an issue that isn’t taken lightly by the social networks. Facebook is currently blocking 200 million malicious actions every single day. A specific “site integrity” team exists within Facebook and is made up of 30 engineers. An additional Facebook team of 46 people works on site security and another team of 300 people focus on user issues. Overall, almost one-third of all Facebook employees fight spam in some fashion.
Twitter has also been staffing up to solve spam related issues. This year Twitter will have 5 “spam science” programmers and 9 account-abuse specialists. See the full Wall Street Journal article for more information.