NPR logo Hacking The Innocence, Part 2

Hacking The Innocence, Part 2

Eyder got phished on Facebook. Over the weekend I got five new followers on Twitter. Four of them were bots, social-networking spammers.

I could tell as soon as I went to check them out. Delia, Kris, Juliette and Fay had each tweeted exactly once, and the tweet was some ridiculous statement designed to get me to click on some link to who-knows-what.

Maybe this says something about me, that I am more interesting to automated purveyors of sketchy weblinks than I am to actual people. However, I'd like to think it says more about Twitter - and social networking - than it says about me.

My main social networking activity is on LiveJournal, and I've been hit by the bots there, too. LiveJournal is a social-networking backwater but I like it because I've been there for five years and I've developed a lot of close relationships. It's also owned by a Russian company and that means that sometimes I get comments on my posts that are really ads in Russian. I get them in English, too, though it's not often enough to be truly annoying. I have also never had four in one day like I got from Twitter.

LiveJournal has lots of bots that create fake accounts to spam real journals. One of my LJ friends pointed me to a graph of stats about how many people of various ages had journals. It's at the bottom of the page, here.

That crazy-big spike of people 29 years old has to be mostly bots. I don't really know why the LJ bots like being 29. I wonder how old Delia, Kris, Juliette and Fay are. I can't ask them. When I checked in on Twitter today, all of their accounts had been shut down.