Be careful of Facebook’s friendly super best friendsWritten by Kevin Cesarz | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet my new super best friends: Kim-BenEzekial Cortez, Daryl Martin, HoNszx Mae, Aukos D Jirachivanant, Stefan Grozdanov Petrov, Udeshi Wijesiri, Dexter Mas, Nur Hafizah Mohd Zin, Klajdi Xhemali, Kristi Kristuli, Emant Eleister, Novz Dizon, Apple Grace Tecson and, of course, Tantra Druglord.
I recently set up a Facebook fan page — “How to create a fan page and transfer admin when I leave my company” — to test functionality. Into the honey pot of a very nonexciting page landed my new super best friends.
Why would this group of Facebook friends have any interest in liking my lonesome fan page? Probably, they are very likely interested in harvesting my personal info — wall posts, friendships, photos and demographic information.
So consider that if you’re busy grubbing 933 social media followers you probably have inadvertently selected more than a few like Kim-BenEzekial Cortez.
Spambot or bimbot?
Is Kim-BenEzekial Cortez real or just a spambot created to harvest personal info from her friends (and their friends)? Kim-BenEzekial Cortez appears to be a mutation of a few public personas mashed into one. There are multiple Ben Ezekials in the United Kingdom, including a prominent distance runner. Creating spambots with fragments of real people adds a dollop of legitimacy to a Facebook friend request.
You may have also experienced bimbots — very attractive profile photos of people that have amazingly similar tastes in books and music. These profiles are set up by spammers to exploit holes in Facebook’s architecture and your personal profile. If you confirm the friend request the profile scrapes your personal information, while you end up asking yourself, “How do I not remember this person as attending my very large high school?”
What’s the real motive of these Facebook profiles, besides general creepiness?
An amusing byproduct is the many influential tech, media and political types who accept friend requests from attractive people and bots they don’t know. Amazing how strong a celebrity’s need for affirmation can be.
Curious if you’ve been friended by a bot? Be safe by simply sending a hello message, which you can do on Facebook without adding this person as a friend.
True security is in actually knowing your neighbors. Build a strong social media core by asking this question with every friend or follower request: Can we share enough valuable information to mutually benefit each other?
If you can’t answer that question in the affirmative then resist the urge to win that social media prize of I-have-more-friends-than-you.
Curious case of Nicole Bally
Henry Copeland in BlogAds continues to track the mysterious Facebook profile of Nicole Bally, who has racked up Facebook friends like Sean Parker, Arianna Huffington, Dana Milbank, Camille Paglia, Curtis Sliwa and Jimmy Wales with merely an attractive profile photo. Bally’s profile contains no content or conversation and merely accepts friend requests. Great job if you can get it.
Don’t laugh. You may be sharing way too much with strangers, too.
I’m charmed that my new super best friends want to like my Facebook fan test page. The page was created to test transferring administrator ability (Facebook has since allowed this functionality). Now when the original creator of a business fan page is downsized or moves on, other administrators can jump right in.
But Tantra, Apple and especially Kim-BenEzekial Cortez are steadfast. They’re not going anywhere. They’ve stuck with me for the potential opportunity to add delicious spam to my Facebook page. I appreciate their interest, but I’ll pass.
Kevin Cesarz is director of social media and Web project manager at Thread Marketing Group in Maumee (www.threadgroup.com). He also helps create storytelling content for MrElshMedia (www.mrelshmedia.com). Find more ideas about social media at klcesarz.wordpress.com/.