Google+ Will It Become a Magnet for Spam?

Discussion in 'Mail Chat' started by roundabout, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. roundabout

    roundabout Well-Known Member

    Feb 17, 2011
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    Google+ Will It Become a Magnet for Spam?

    Google+ has been growing by record numbers. In just three short weeks Google+ grew to over 20 million users. While that may not be a dent in the 700 million users Facebook claims, when you consider that it took Facebook just over three years to achieve 20 million users, you can just imagine the impact this network is going to have on the Internet.

    Of course, sudden growth has its problems. Early on Vic Gundotra, Senior Vice President of Engineering at Google, had to send out an apology to users. Apparently, the system had spammed those involved in the beta test because the servers ran out of disk space causing the system to send out notice after notice.

    Unwanted email for sure, but spam? I would hardly think so.

    However some insiders think that it is just a matter of time before users start getting hit by some really nasty spam inside the network.

    Basing their theories on the fact that Facebook and Twitter have become huge targets for phishing attacks, many see Google+ as the next logical target.
    Will it become a problem?

    To get a sense of what Google+ users think of spam on the network, let’s look at what some of the most influential users have to say:

    * Spam away, as far as I’m concerned, because I don’t want to miss something good just because nobody bothered to tell me about it! : ) +Will Wheaton
    * One thing that’s been nice (so far) about G+ is the lack of spam accounts. There are lots of those on Twitter. +Wesley Fryer
    * One of the things I have seen is that people will share posts with you to pitch you on their message. Sometimes this is very effective. Other times, though, I find myself blocking these people since their posts are pure sales/i.e. spam. Hopefully G+ won’t become a haven for spammers. How do we manage this? Should we be tagging the spammers back? +Steve Rubel
    * Of course whenever we review a profile, if we determine that the account is violating other policies like spam or abuse we’ll suspend the account. +Natalie Villalobos
    * Imagine SEO/SEM with spam weeded out through your circles & interests. Game Changer for sure! +Tom Anderson
    * G+ allows you to actually see who you want to see without all of the ads and spam messages. +Robert Scoble
    * Spam can be dealt with. Google is already very good at detecting this type of thing in Gmail, the rest can be crowd sourced. +Vic Gundotra

    Now let’s take a moment to address the comment made by Vic Gundotra.

    In Google+ fellow users can be blocked. If they insist on spreading junk you have the option to block them so none of their posts show up, even if they comment on someone else who you are following.

    While invites are scarce, this method will work against those without the foresight to create multiple accounts right from the beginning. However, once this product gets out of beta, what will happen? Once a spammer is blocked too many times, he or she will just create another account. The same is true if they are kicked off the network for being reported as a spammer.

    And, as any Gmail user can attest to, spam does get through their filters; no more than any other email service, but it does get through.

    What holds the most promise for fighting spam is crowd sourcing.

    The Google+ community so far has been extremely helpful to one another. A link that is spam would quickly be identified by other users so that others would not fall victim as well. Combining the users with whatever technologies Google employs to fight spam may very well take the profitability out of using Google+ to deliver spam.

    I would be interested in hearing from other Google+ users as to their experiences with spam on the network and what they think will best keep it at bay.

    (And we have our answer)

    Author’s Note – many people are reporting that emails being sent to their inbox claim to contain a link that will provide the reader with an invite to Google+. The link actually takes the person to a pharmacy site offering drugs like Viagra, Cialis and Levitra.


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