More online interactional vandalism

April 14, 2010 at 4:43 am

| Gabriel |

A few months ago, I wrote about social spam, where the spam somehow tries to exploit your personal connections. I recently saw two new instances of this.

First, Slashdot had a story on a lawsuit with Classmates.com over phony friend requests from people with whom you did go to high school but who were not already using the site and requesting your link. Looks like they tried a bit too hard to provide a Schelling point solution to a coordination game.

Second, I recently got this spam message, which I’ve edited to avoid publicizing the product:

Dr. Rossman:
A friend of mine recommended that I contact you. I am publishing a book on [DATE], [TITLE] with [PUBLISHER]. It is a book that is part sociology, economics, anthropology and a history of the class system in the U.S. She felt that you may have some interest in my work and may provide feedback. If you are interested you can read a description and bio on the Barnes & Noble or Amazon websites or the publisher’s website. I would be happy to know what you think.
Thanks,
[CRANK AUTHOR]

This is actually a pretty convincing message until you stop and ask, who is this friend and why exactly did she think I’d like the book (especially given that I don’t do stratification)?

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