Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Mole-Whacking: Vendor Says Spam Is Growing on Facebook Fan Pages

Almost 15 percent of user-submitted content on large Facebook fan pages is spam, according to analysis done by Vitrue, which makes fan page management systems.

Vitrue has a somewhat expansive definition of spam, including swearing, derogatory comments and inappropriate promotional material.

The Atlanta-based company says it measured average monthly growth of 8.6 percent in spam on Facebook as a percentage of all fan posts and 0.4 percent growth in spam as a percentage of fan comments between Dec. 2009 and Oct. 2010.

Facebook itself has improved spam tools for page administrators in recent months, helping them more easily ban users, report spam and build blocked word lists.

Facebook spokesperson Fred Wolens strongly disputed the Vitrue claims, saying that Facebook’s requirement for real names makes it far less spammy than email or traditional comment systems. “A fraction of a fraction of a percent of users are affected on any given day by spam,” Wolens said.

Please see the disclosure about Facebook in my ethics statement.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald