Preventing Avatar Spam and Gaming Facebook LIKEs

If you live on social media networks, or if you write a blog, or manage a Facebook page, you’ve certainly seen a rise in efforts to game the networks for profit.  Way back on September 11, 2006, I predicted right here on this blog that people would begin to use Avatars — their online identity — to make money by selling their craven image to the highest bidder:

What’s to stop active — or better yet, INactive — blog commenters from getting hired by companies to change their Avatar to promote a website or a phone number or some other advertising blitz? Can you imagine being a new beer company and going out and finding the top 1,000 blog commenters and having them all change their Avatars to the logo for your beer?

Why it’s sheer viral genius! You could buy hundreds of thousands of page views on the cheap that could reach for years back into the history of Avatar-enabled blog pages on thousands of blogs — and the beauty part is this: No one would be the wiser.

The Search Engines already indexed and tagged the old content as safe and sufficient and your Avatar Ads would be silently served up when a search return is clicked through to the blog. The Blogmaster would never know — especially if you were not posting recent comments.

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Google Voice Now Provides Spam Protection

There’s nothing more scandalous than getting a brand new phone number that formerly belonged to a deadbeat who did not pay her debts.  That’s what happened to Janna when we bought her a new 212 Area Code phone number and hooked it into her Google Voice account.

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A Letter to Well Meaning Virus Announcement Forwarders

Dear Well Meaning Forwarders of Virus Alert E-mails,

First of all, let me thank you for your consideration. You got an e-mail about the existence of a virus. It could be a virus that comes in the form of a greeting card or the form of a silly photo of our president. The kind of damage might range from the destruction of your hard drive to just forwarding itself to everyone in your address book. When you saw that virus alert, you thought of me and hit that forward button — you don’t want me to get the virus.

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Spam Crusader Dan Balsam

I’ve been getting spam for many years — as long as there has been easily accessible e-mail, there has been spam. What could be easier than writing up an e-mail, addressing it to hundreds of thousands of people, and hitting send? As e-mail programs and services get more clever and find ways to filter out junk e-mail, people become ever more crafty with how they write their spam so that the filters don’t trap it.

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Is It Spam or an Interesting Comment?

Spam is getting sneakier by the day!  If you run a blog — and if you care about publishing only cogent comments — you probably already know precisely the problem I am addressing today.

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Facebook is Running Out of Space

I am fascinated by how we know, learn and propagate information into the icy aging of our future.  This week I had a flood of email in my Facebook Inbox — from only my friends in Germany — suggesting the social networking service was running out of server space. 

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I Am Not Who You Think I Am

I have had my Gmail account for nearly six years now — thanks to an early invitation from master publisher David Boles. I chose the username “gordond” because I wanted to see if it was available. For many years I only chose the username ‘gdavides’ based on the assigned username I got at Peddie — it was based on the first letter of my first name and the following seven letters of my last name.

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