Be Sure Your New Facebook Friend Is Human

Bots are gaining ground, raising malware risks
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2010 2:57 PM CST
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg speaks in the Galileo Auditorium on Microsoft’s Silicon Valley Campus in Mountain View, Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

(Newser) All Facebook takes note of a new prediction that 1 in 10 Facebook friends won't actually be human in 2015. Instead, they'll be bots—automated software programs that companies will use to push their brands and products. Most companies use actual humans for that at the moment, but "by mid decade, this will get fully automated," writes Jackie Cohen.

It may not sound like a huge deal, but Cohen notes that the "average user has about 100 or so friends, and that’s supposed to reach 500 in the not-too-distant future." Which means the average user could have 50 bots amid his or her real friends, and bots are more likely to spread malware. "That could open a big can of whoop-ass if people don’t learn to screen friend requests."

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