How The Open Platform is Hurting Facebook

SMS Text

While the decision to allow everyone to register and join Facebook has gotten the site millions of users, the larger user base hasn’t come without its own set of problems.
Since the Facebook began this open platform approach I have been getting 5-6 friend requests per week. Even though most of these requests are from actual people who (though we don’t know each other) have added me for whatever reason, there are also countless more invitations from “fake” accounts and to join “fake” groups. These invitations are from people who have no display picture or network associated with them and no way to authenticate that they are legitimate users and not spammers.
It is a testament to Facebook’s growth that spammers are recognizing it as a viable resource that must be exploited. But the spammer problem doesn’t stop with these “invisible” requests. I logged into Facebook today after a week to see that a certain Jenna Hall had asked to be added as a friend of mine. The invitation seemed harmless enough since I’m no stranger to “friend request spam” and because I don’t know her, I decided to click on her name to see who she was and why she wanted to be friends with me.
At first look the profile looks to be authentic since most of the profile’s information fields (such as personal information, interests, and favorites) are filled. It’s not until you get to the about me section that you can tell that the user has been specifically created to target people on Facebook and direct traffic to a pornography site. Not only is this a nuisance for regular users but this is also a concern for parents whose underage children are now joining Facebook at younger ages and at faster rates than ever.

Cameron Olthuis

Cameron Olthuis

Cameron Olthuis

Latest posts by Cameron Olthuis (see all)

Subscribe to SEJ!
Get our weekly newsletter from SEJ's Founder Loren Baker about the latest news in the industry!
  • Juan David

    The post is really superficial and absolutely irrelevant. We have seem how spammers always take advantage of every new platform and it would be better for the author to cover how facebook copes with that.
    As to what it was suppose to refer, the open platform, there is nothing at all! Come on guys, you have good articles once in a while, not this …

  • Muhammad Saleem

    Thanks for the incredibly insipid remarks. It is clear to me that you entirely missed the point of the article. The point is to show that opening up to everyone hasn’t entirely been a good thing for Facebook and it has opened the system up to spammers. This wasn’t a problem when the social networking site was specific to college students only because that required a user to have a legitimate university email address (@[].edu).
    And probably because you didn’t understand the article, the latter half of your comment makes equally as little sense as the first half.
    The post is about Facebook as an open platform from the users’ point of view and not the f8 development platform.

  • HMTKSteve

    Born in 1987? Why do I suddenly feel so old?
    You are correct Mu, opening up Facebook may have resulted in more user accounts being registered but has it really added any value to Facebook?
    There is a value in a closed system. Facebook *had* that value, now it will just become another MySpace…

  • Jim

    I like the “Hometown: Chicago, IN”
    Yea, Chicago, Indiana is always nice this time of crazy.
    If you’re going to be an idiot, at least reference an atlas!

  • Facebook Flyers Die Dec 03 + Ad Campaign Data

    What I find entertaining is that there probably is a girl named Jenna Hall doing porn. If she leaves the game and tries to get hired… well, let’s just say she’ll be needing some reputation management services!