What the hell is up with all these MySpace spams?
June 6, 2007 1:11 PM   Subscribe

Help! Beautiful women keep sending me MySpace invites. Why are they doing this?

OK, yeah, they're spam. But what I'm wondering is why the usernames are always very plain names like Contessa, Jessica, Vanessa, etc. It seems to me that (1) someone has went through a LOT of trouble to get these names, and that (2) MySpace has a lax spam policy that prevents these names from being banned.

How is it that these spammers acquire such prime usernames? Why don't the accounts get deactivated? Why is the lucrative account name "September" sending me mortgage spams? Is Myspace doing anything about the spam problem there? I really don't use the site at all, so I don't know the ins and outs here.
posted by antipasta_explosion to Computers & Internet (19 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
because they want you to write them using that FREEEEE and totally awesome dating site they read emails on every day. or join that almost FREEEEEE video site they have a camera on (which is a video tape) or because they want you to make lots of money (almost FREEEEEEE) if you only pay for the transfer from nigeria. seriously, could it be any more obvious?

most "prime" accounts were phished and reformatted.
also screenname and account name are not synonymous.
posted by krautland at 1:17 PM on June 6, 2007

The name you see when someone messages you isn't their username; it's their display name, which can be changed at any time. On MySpace, every user has their "real" name that is used in the search engine, their display name, which is how their name shows on their profile, and then a URL name, which is whatever is after the / in their Myspace.com URL. Only the URL name is permanent; the others can be changed at will.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:18 PM on June 6, 2007 [1 favorite]

You aren't seeing unique usernames. What you see when people message you or post comments on your page are their names (or whatever "name" they feel like going by at the moment), which are dynamic and can be changed at any point. And spam accounts get deactivated all the time. But they get made again.
posted by apple scruff at 1:18 PM on June 6, 2007

Since several people have already answered the username question...

Is Myspace doing anything about the spam problem there?
Dozens of times I have gotten a Friend Request notification email, but when I logged in to approve/deny the request it was already gone. Presumably this was because MySpace had identified them as spammers and deleted the account sometime between the request being sent and me checking my email.
posted by indyz at 1:21 PM on June 6, 2007

Have you ever gone to their people search and then set it for female and searched for all within ten miles of your location? You'll see hundreds of generically-named women, many with the same picture. These are not unique names any more than the thousands of people named 'mike' are.
posted by mikeh at 1:30 PM on June 6, 2007

Are these those chicks that keep giving everybody free Macy's cards?
posted by The Straightener at 1:31 PM on June 6, 2007

Myspace really needs to get a hold on this -- 80% of my messages are spam. I'm thinking of deactivating my account, I'm so tired of it.
posted by Bookhouse at 1:55 PM on June 6, 2007

It has something to do with you spending money to see their nekkid pics.
posted by JJ86 at 1:56 PM on June 6, 2007

"Myspace really needs to get a hold on this"

But they won't, because to advertisers it looks like they really do have eleventybillion accounts.

Same way that match.com/etc *never* delete profiles.. you can just have them "hidden."
posted by drstein at 3:00 PM on June 6, 2007

I remember a posting from Tom a couple of months ago saying that they are actually suing the spammers and legal action is underway. So something is being done.
posted by divabat at 3:03 PM on June 6, 2007

Response by poster: OK, I kinda feel stupid about the username vs. screenname issue... I wouldn't have posted this if I thought that was the case. I am enlightened now, but I do find the spam discussion interesting as I'm curious what it's all about (since it's not the usual penis enlargement and V1GR@).
posted by antipasta_explosion at 3:14 PM on June 6, 2007

If you look in the "About Me" section on the profile page of the spammy hot girls, there's almost always a link to a "FREE RINGTONES" or "FREE $500 TARGET GIFT CARD" site. You're more likely to catch the Myspace demographic with that sort of spam, rather than viagra & cialis ads.
posted by chiababe at 3:53 PM on June 6, 2007

Huh. I'd always just figured they were hookers or camgirls. I never thought to think that they were simple retail/pyramid-scene spam.
posted by Netzapper at 4:03 PM on June 6, 2007

I've been trying to figure out how exactly this works. I've had a personal myspace account for quite some time, and almost never recieve these spam requests. A few months ago, I created another account for a group I run, and 99% of the messages and friend requests are spam. I'd think my established account would be the one over-run with spam, but not so... weird.
posted by blaneyphoto at 5:56 PM on June 6, 2007

There's a video on youtube of a guy writing some simple php to mass-add friends on myspace---and there's software for it all over torrent sites. It's pretty simple, as myspace ID #'s are used for all things, and they're sequential. You start at 00000000000001 and move up, sending the invite to each person in order---or the script does, anyway.
posted by TomMelee at 6:48 PM on June 6, 2007

I can't believe that MySpace hasn't added a THIS IS A SPAMMER button to Friend Requests. They have them for messages, but not Friend Requests.
posted by Ian A.T. at 2:49 AM on June 7, 2007

But they won't, because to advertisers it looks like they really do have eleventybillion accounts.

I doubt that -- at some level they don't want the real accounts to be driven away.

The basic problem is the same as e-mail spam. It's very easy to automate sending the stuff, and very hard -- and human-intensive -- to block it. They're probably throwing everything they think they can afford at it already, and that will never be enough.
posted by dhartung at 4:58 AM on June 7, 2007

MySpace has a lax spam policy

Myspace was originally designed and implemented by an email spam (sorry, "direct marketing") company.

The goal of Myspace is to maximise pageviews. That's why even the simplest operations take many more clicks than they should.

By maximising the amount of come-on spam you are receiving, the site is working exactly as intended.
posted by meehawl at 7:31 AM on June 7, 2007

Let me go on the record as say:
"Because Myspace sucks"
posted by ZackTM at 2:47 PM on June 8, 2007

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