Social media security and compliance company Nexgate released a study this week that painted an alarming picture about the growth of spam on Facebook. What they found: Facebook and YouTube have 100 times more spam than other social networks, and overall social spamming has increased 355 percent during the first half of 2013 alone.
The study examined 60 million pieces of unique content and 25 million accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn and YouTube between 2011 and 2013. They found many unsettling facts about the amount of spam on Facebook and social sites in general, including:
- Facebook contains four times as much phishing attacks as other social networks
- Spammers regularly send malware to at least 23 different accounts
- One out of every 200 social media messages has spam in it
The study also found that most spam spreads through social media sites through links, which take advantage of users’ natural curiosity. Other popular methods of spreading spam include spammy apps, chain letters, fake accounts and social bots.
Spam is damaging not just to the users who fall victim to it, but the brands and companies who are often misrepresented or used to spread it.
“A spammy social message isn’t just seen by one recipient, but by potentially all of the brand’s followers and all of the recipients’ friends,” the Nexgate study said. “Social spam transforms one of the greatest assets of social media marketing — its multidimensional nature — against the brand.”
Even though Facebook fights hard to rid itself of spam, completely stemming the rising tide of malware on the site seems to be all but impossible.