Google Buzz: Already Filling up with Spam
Just a week after its launch, Google Buzz is already being inundated with spam, web security outfit Websense reports.
After a mere two days, the company detected Buzzing spammers (or spamming Buzzers, take your pick): “in an indictment of how rapidly spammers are learning to abuse social networks, it took only two days before they started to hit Google Buzz.”
Websense passed along a few more worrisome, though not exactly counterintuitive, stats on just how bad spam is on social networking sites: “The security firm said Web 2.0 sites allowing user-generated content are a top target for cybercriminals and spammers, and research revealed that 95 percent of user-generated comments to blogs, chat rooms and message boards are spam or malicious.”
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Though it’s inevitable, spam on Google Buzz is even more damaging than its counterparts on Twitter or Facebook: unless you’ve got a million followers, it’s fairly easy to ignore Twitter spam, as much of it as there is. And while Facebook spam is bad news — as when you get a friend request from a lonely Russian teen named Olga who proceeds to cope with her loneliness by sending you malware — people outside of your network don’t have quite as much power to disrupt your experience. On Google Buzz, however, all it takes is a comment on a post from someone in your network to show up in your inbox. It’s like Facebook comment spam, but worse, because in Google Buzz’s current incarnation, comment threads are arguably the most important part of the conversation.
In the Google Buzz press conference, the Google team assured the audience that Buzz would block spam algorithmically, by punishing users who had more muted posts and by applying unspecified other filters. But it’s definitely not a perfect spamblocker yet: And while perfection isn’t a reasonable expectation, Buzz spam is going to be something they’ll have to work hard to keep in check.