How The Open Platform is Hurting Facebook

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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

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