Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


The Social Networking Dream Has Died: Facebook Spam!!!

Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

I logged into my email this morning to find five Facebook Wall posts from old friends -- many of whom I haven't spoken to in a while. "Hm, what is this spontaneous outpouring of love? How is it that so many have been moved to reach out to me this morning?" I clicked on over to my Facebook account, only to find --


Actually, I was the spammer, and every single one of my Facebook friends had been subjected to one of those "chck out fr33 ringtonez now!!111!!!! dudez!!!!!" ads. Some of them said only, mysteriously, "did you get them???" Even worse, a bunch of people had already emailed me or responded to point out that I had spammed them, as if it wasn't clearly indicated all over my History Board or whatever the hell that thing is called on your profile that lets everybody know what you're up to. THE SHAME!!!

Support for LAist comes from

But after the initial embarassment wore off, the whole thing started to get funny. And then I started to feel like some sort of social networking pioneer! Might I be the first person to fall victim to the Free Ringtone Scam -- so common on MySpace, but as of yet unheard of on the smugly secure Facebook? A quick Google search revealed that spam has actually been creeping into Facebook for a while now, in all of its various Nigerian scam and "OMG Press alt-F4!!!!) iterations. Don't press Alt-F4, by the way.

Another unexpected benefit to the whole business is that the novelty of Facebook spam has brought out the snarky side of my friends. Everybody is messaging me to politely-yet-humorously decline my offer of free ringtones :"I'm actually quite happy with my current ring-tones Carrie, but thanks for offering." "Dude, Carrie, I get all excited I got a message, and it turns out to be an advertisement. Where's the love, Carrie? Can't you love? You should be French."

So...has Facebook actually communicated for me? Is this the future of social networking -- you don't even have to do anything to keep in touch with your friends anymore? The brain inside the computer will just send out cryptic-yet-concise messages for you? Facebook will actually do all my networking for me? I'm not sure if I'm ready to give my social life over to a malfunctioning Dell.

Will frequent spam destroy the Facebook experience? (Unless you believe it's already going to hell.) Part of the whole attraction was that it offered a more cloistered membership than MySpace ever did -- but have all those god damn third-party applications tolled the death knell for Facebook user-friendliness and security? Will a social networking site ever get it right? Or does the emperor have no FunWall?