Social Media Spam Up 355% This Year Alone

Facebook, YouTube most prone

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 1, 2013 9:53 AM CDT

(Newser) – Spammers are increasingly setting their sights beyond your email account. In the first half of this year, spam on social media has increased 355%, a new report finds. It's not exactly overwhelming (especially in light of the fact that some 70% of emails sent are spam), but spam accounts for one in 200 social media posts, Mashable reports. The findings are based on Nexgate's review of 60 million items from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and YouTube from 2011 to 2013; it found Facebook and YouTube are the most spam-heavy networks.

And it's "not just in the increase in volume" we should consider, says Nexgate's CEO. There's also been "increasing sophistication and diversification of the mechanisms used to distribute spam." (One example: An app that promises to show how many Facebookers have viewed your profile that is actually, you guessed it, spam.) And while email anti-spam systems are improving, just 15% of social media spam contains a link that can be auto-flagged as spam. Here's another big number: The CEO calls Facebook spam "reportedly a $200 million business."

A sign with Facebook's "Like" logo is posted at Facebook headquarters near the office for the company's User Operations Safety Team in Menlo Park, Calif.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)
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