Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Facebook It's funny.  Laugh. Privacy Social Networks Spam Idle Your Rights Online

Dozens of Tech Bigwigs Friend Facebook Spambot 81

jfruhlinger writes "If you've used Facebook or Twitter, you're almost certainly familiar with 'bimbots' — accounts that have profile pics of attractive women, but seem to exist only to send send spam links with varying degrees of subtlety. Henry Copeland, the founder of BlogAds, tracks the social network of one such Facebook bot, and finds that she's friends with a long list of influential tech and media folks. Copeland also tracks down the origin of the photo that accompanies the account."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Dozens of Tech Bigwigs Friend Facebook Spambot

Comments Filter:
  • by Dyinobal ( 1427207 ) on Friday June 10, 2011 @11:39AM (#36401536)
    But it's a hot bot just take a look at her profile picks. I mean if we don't support these first versions of sex robots then how are people going to get funding for the actual nondigital versions.
    • by cdrudge ( 68377 )

      how are people going to get funding for the actual nondigital versions.

      What does having fingers or not have to do with it?

      • Depends on what particular pleasures you want from it, I suppose.

      • by EdIII ( 1114411 )

        Fingers? Wow.

        Okay. Sit down. I am little surprised we have to have this talk because you are on the Internet... but...

        You see Johnny, when two people really like each other......

    • You're promoting a bad precedent.

      These bimbots look good, but all they do is try to get you to buy lots of stuff that has nothing to do with the reason you approached them in the first place.

      If you're looking for quality sexbots, then you're going to have to pay full price. These bimbots will just tease and taunt you without really delivering anything worthwhile.

      Come to think of it, that's one of the oldest tricks of the oldest profession: it's easier to talk the mark out of his money than to actually work

    • A profile pic of a moderately attractive woman? That's it?

      Now for me to be lured in, there would have to be regular posts, with pics, about things like:

      "Washed my car in a bikini top and Daisy Duke shorts today. Got all wet. Tee hee! ;-)"
      "Took some pics on my sportbike while I was outside."
      "Had this fruit freezy at lunch today. Tastes so good. See how much I enjoy it? Mmmmmm...."
      "How do these new shoes look? Ignore the very short skirt, just look at the shoes."
      "Decided to drop rose petals on my bed and pose

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Who wasn't a friend of SmarterChild?

  • In other news... (Score:5, Informative)

    by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Friday June 10, 2011 @11:40AM (#36401556) Homepage Journal

    Executives are not very computer savvy. And this is a surprise because....

    • Executives are not very computer savvy. And this is a surprise because....

      Well, TFA is Slashdotted, but TFS seems to indicate that these are tech bigwigs.

      If the executives of your tech company aren't computer savvy ... then maybe the reason your business is in the shitter is because your executives don't understand what it is that you do because they're a bunch of MBAs who don't know your industry well enough.

      I'm sorry, but if you're running a tech company, you have no excuse for not being computer savvy.

      • by mlts ( 1038732 ) *

        You can run a tech company and not be computer savvy, provided you have the ability to keep investors continue to leave their wallets open. This was true in the dot.com bubble, and still true today, although it takes a far glibber tongue to keep investors shelling out the cash than in the past where scraping "LINUX" on something meant a multi million dollar IPO.

        • by ronocdh ( 906309 )

          You can run a tech company and not be computer savvy, provided you have the ability to keep investors continue to leave their wallets open.

          Of course. I think what Parent was saying is that better than this philosophy you identify is to implement an ethos of doing the job well. As this case illustrates, that would have been a better approach to take than focusing on "keeping investors' wallets open." Funnily enough, doing the job well is often a better approach, no matter what your jaded perspective on American commercialism may be (which actually feeds into the corrupt mentality of faking goods to get money).

          • by mlts ( 1038732 ) *

            Long term, doing the job well is the better approach. However, being in the industry so long, it is easy to get cynical, after bids/proposals for doing a job right get shoved off the table for ones that are cheaper, regardless of potential cost in safety, security, or long term sustainability.

            I have consulted at a number of startups. The #1 thing that was the focus was keeping the investor wallets open. Everything else, up to and including making a solid product came second.

            The old-school American ethos

            • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

              The problem with that is when you first start out you can't afford mainframes. Then later you have folks who never have seen much less administered main frames.

      • by gsslay ( 807818 ) on Friday June 10, 2011 @12:05PM (#36401906)

        But of course what's more likely is that these facebook pages are not in any way personal pages. They will be maintained by some corporate minion who has a dozen other more important things to be doing for their boss, and who just accepts all friend requests. No-one seriously believes that they're "friends", even by facebook standards.

        Chances are that these people, if they have a personal facebook page at all, keep it well under wraps.

      • Well, TFA is Slashdotted, but TFS seems to indicate that these are tech bigwigs.

        The TFA is now 404'd...

        Now there is truly "nothing to see here, move along".
      • I'm not so sure, actually. Some of the absolute worst PHB's I've ever had the misfortune to work with, weren't MBA types, but former brilliant coders. They're the guys who thought they're still expert enough to take tech decisions by themselves, just because they once coded some clever calculations in FORTRAN and subscribe to some IT-for-managers ragazine. The fact that a lot still had the typical nerd personality of just having to be right about everything, and taking even the theoretical possibility of th

      • I don't expect you to be able to code, but I don't expect you to be a friggin' n00b either.

        In the tech industry if you can't write some kind of code, you are definitely a friggin' n00b.

    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      Hot women/Sex sells. :P

  • Most influential Tech folks were nerds growing up, so why wouldn't they say yes if some hot girl friended them on Facebook.
    • Because if they're proper nerds, they understand that that "hot girl" is actually just another tubby, pockmarked, unkempt, pizza-sauce-stained, geeky dude like themselves.

      • Yeah, but also for a lot of people the number of "friends" they have on some list, is some kind of self-validation and status symbol.

        To understand what I'm about to say, I must mention Dunbar's Number [wikipedia.org], which mans basically for a given species, how many relationships you can juggle around in your head. For Homo Sapiens that's a little under 150. The most primitive tribes can work without any form of organization below that number, for example, by simple virtue of everyone being friends with everyone else in

    • by TheLink ( 130905 )
      And those tech nerds might also put the spambots on a Facebook friend list where the spambots can't see anything much, or even post anything much.

      Facebook might not reliably enforce that for the long term , but most people don't care that much.
  • I know every single one of my friends... but most of my account privacy settings allow "friends of friends" to see my stuff and comment on it.

    I'm just plain careful what I post on Facebook that's all... most of my stuff is throwaway weird random stuff

    Go ahead.... friend me "Thomas Dzubin"

    • I know every single one of my friends... but most of my account privacy settings allow "friends of friends" to see my stuff and comment on it.

      I'm just plain careful what I post on Facebook that's all... most of my stuff is throwaway weird random stuff

      Go ahead.... friend me "Thomas Dzubin"

      and when I say "friend me", I mean... hot girl bots... "friend me"
      not random Slashdot nerds. sigh... I already know enough of them.

    • by mlts ( 1038732 ) *

      What I do is use groups, and have defaults of who can see what.

      I started this after I graduated college because virtually every employer I applied for demanded friend access to FB. So, they got it. They could read a couple sterile posts. The rest? No access.

      So, if someone I don't know wants to friend me, I'll accept the request and put them in the "deny access to all" group, and move merrily along.

      Of course, one never knows if FB may "update" privacy settings to screw this way of doing things up, so it

      • by base3 ( 539820 )

        I started this after I graduated college because virtually every employer I applied for demanded friend access to FB.

        I find this utterly amazing. Can you say what career field this was happening to you in? And were they not savvy enough to know they weren't seeing your full profile?

        • by mlts ( 1038732 ) *

          Computer science and IT.

          At first, I didn't even have a FB profile. However, when interviewing, I was looked at like I was an alien, or one of those weird hermits who doesn't have a phone or electricity.

          So I created a dummy FB account. Then started using it to reconnect with acquaintances. The same HR people who demanded friends with FB were doing so because it was the "in" thing as per their magazines. None of them ever mentioned that they were not seeing the full profile.

          Funny thing is that the place t

          • by base3 ( 539820 )
            Interesting -- thanks! I have a FB profile that's pretty minimal, and have assiduously avoided friending those above me in the hierarchy although I know other folks who do not. I work in higher education (not a prof, a lowly staff person) and would have been aghast at having been told I needed to as a condition of employment--and am surprised that HR people would use a vehicle that might give them access to information like familial status, religion, etc. that could get them sued.
  • by uncanny ( 954868 ) on Friday June 10, 2011 @11:49AM (#36401662)

    she's friends with a long list of influential tech and media folks

    If these people are influential or media folks as it says, then they probably have tons of requests all the time. They are "important" people that love to be heard. The more followers/friends/whatever they have the better. They aren't going to spend a lot of time sifting through the requests to see who's real or not.

    • In fairness, a significant part of their jobs as corporate executives is to be heard by as many people as possible. Not to mention that by virtue of their jobs they most likely meet hundreds, if not thousands of people every year. This whole thing is kind of ridiculous; they're public figures, their use cases for Facebook are different from the average person. Where I would recommend to most people that they personally know every person on their friends list, that advice doesn't make sense for people usi

    • Question: Are they doing the friending/sifting/etc, or are their PA's/secretaries/admins doing it?

      No joke... most CxO types would probably have their staff do that kind of scut-work for them.

  • The story link is to "blogads.com". So this story is probably a spam.

  • How surprising (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Zenaku ( 821866 ) on Friday June 10, 2011 @11:51AM (#36401722)

    I'm pretty sure most of these bigwigs are not actually managing their own social network profile, and that the Public Relations drone or Image Consultant who runs it for them is under instructions to accept all friend requests.

    They are more like fan pages than personal accounts.

    • That doesn't matter, in fact it's a boon to whoever wrote the bimbots because then the account will have a lot more "friends" for the bimbot to extract exposed information from.

  • by just_another_sean ( 919159 ) on Friday June 10, 2011 @11:52AM (#36401724) Journal

    /.'ed already. Anyone know who the "influential" execs are? Even better, got a picture of this babe? :-)

    • Full article (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Here is the article from Google's cache:

      Are you also exposing your private parts to strangers on Facebook?
      by henrycopeland
      Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

      Think it’s only old men in trench coats and — ahem — congressmen who like to share intimate moments with attractive strangers?

      Based on my own Facebook experience, I’ve seen at least 100 influential tech, media and politics folks — men and some women — accept friend requests from attractive women they don’t know. For as lo

    • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )

      Even better, got a picture of this babe? :-)

      Honestly, I was not impressed. Maybe she just isn't my type, but I found her to be slightly average looking. Nothing at all impressive or special about her.

    • by rwa2 ( 4391 ) *

      Just go watch / friend http://nixiepixel.com/ [nixiepixel.com] while you're waiting. And maybe also http://watchtheguild.com/ [watchtheguild.com] while you're at it, though Felicia Day is not *quite* as nerdcore.

  • Clearly these folks were associating themselves with this "bimbot" in the name of research.

    How in the world could they hope to address this problem without first fully understanding it?
  • When I see stuff like this I get instantly suspicious and for good reason. Most services that cater to single men wanting companionship are so flooded with fake profiles of hot girls, spam links, etc. that I begin to associate a hot girl with someone who just wants something from me, be it attention, money, or just to screw with me. Want this kind of thing to stop? Then don't take the bait. Don't give these attention whores and/or spammers what they want. Just pretend they don't exist and they'll go aw
    • Jimmy Soul, is that you?
    • Like advertisements, if we ignore them, they'll disappear.

      Advertisements and spam will only go away if the cost to the originator damages his business case. Ignoring the problem is an attempt at symptomatic relief, and does nothing about the root cause of the problem.

  • Link in article is to: blog.web.blogads.com

  • It's all well and good that your high-profile execs just want that 'social publicity' and let their admins run it for them. Until their admins accept these spam-bot contacts and then wind up getting socially engineered into released important/sensitive/confidential information, like passwords.

    Then what happens is you have Sony, you have Citi, and you have numerous other smaller gaffes that I don' t really need to enumerate here.

    You want publicity, fine... but make it a one way road. Don't even give
  • ...sent me a friend request a while back and I almost fell for it. Hey, 40 people who I know and trust are her friends. Apparently.

    Uh, right.

    I get friend requests; if I don't know who they are, they get rejected. Why would I accept a FR from a complete stranger? If 40 of my friends know the person, I'd probably know them, or of them too.

    Some people just need to take their brain out of Neutral; Drive preferably, but even Reverse would be better than nothing.

  • You know, a lot of celebrities accept all friend requests. It sort of doesn't matter, because they know not to put important info on their page. And isn't 697 a low number of friends for a spambot? You can have 5,000 friends.
  • That Famous People (or more likely their media relations people) are as susceptible to social engineering as the rest of us is news... how?

  • Camille Paglia author of Backlash [wikipedia.org], and Howard Rheingold author of The Virtual Community [wikipedia.org] are both on the first bimbot's list.

    It boggles the mind.
  • It's on a site with a "poor reputation".
  • Slow news day. I don't think 'friends' in Facebook terms means what the author supposes (or hopes). Personally I think Facebook should never have used and abused the word 'friend'. But 'acquaintance' is a bit unwieldy and still not accurate. 'Connection'? Anyway, 'friend' just doesn't work IMHO.
  • A quick search on the picture with Tineye.com returns the name Nicole Carroll, who posts about nutrition and dieting on crossfit.com:
    http://journal.crossfit.com/2005/10/getting-off-the-crack-by-nicol.tpl [crossfit.com]

    The original thumbnail is here:
    http://journal.crossfit.com/images/thumbnails/nicole.baeef534.png [crossfit.com]

  • Why would someone do that?
    • by TheLink ( 130905 )
      If you're talking about Facebook: to get information on/from them.

      In the process of "friending" them you can choose to put them on a friends list where they can't see anything on you and your relationships that's not already on your public profile, while you can see everything they allow to their facebook friends - e.g. who their friends are, photos of them, wall posts etc.

      That way you can do stuff like figure out who the person might be. There are people who put cartoon characters or random pics as their d
  • ... if I get a "friend" request ( or whatever the site names it), and it's an attractive female, i think a few things:

    1. It's fake
    2. It's some chick with some horrible mental problems to want to be friends with me.

    Yep, only 2 things. So i just ignore it.

    Seriously, why would i want to be friends with someone I don't know?

    I don't like being friends with half the people I already know.

As of next Tuesday, C will be flushed in favor of COBOL. Please update your programs.