Its actually not that hard to spot spammers on the world’s biggest social network. Most of them operate through Facebook Pages, by posting links to direct traffic to third party scam websites. A team of security researchers based in Italy have investigated hundreds of thousands of posts on Facebook to conclude that spamming has become a business that pays north of $200 million annually. Facebook has over a billion users, many of them like dozens of Pages each day, Pages that resonate with their likes and interests. Spammers set up fake Pages, build following and start directing those fans to scam websites.
Carlo De Micheli, one of the leaders of this team, said that spam posters make an average of $13 per post for Pages that have nearly 30,000 fans. Based on the number of fans, he says that the average revenue per post ranges between $13 – $58. A spammer told these researchers that Facebook doesn’t ban them because they generate the content on the social network itself. He said that “Without the fan pages Facebook would be an empty place,” adding that he materializes funny and interesting content every day that gets liked and shared by thousands of users. Facebook says that it has developed a number of automated systems to identify links that might be potentially harmful, and that it doesn’t have any tolerance for spammers. Saying that Facebook doesn’t ban spammers because the content that they create generates more hits for Pages might be a bit far-fetched, but that doesn’t mean the company won’t have to ramp up efforts. Seeing as how this has been turned into a lucrative business, one can bet that spammers won’t be migrating from Facebook on their own anytime soon.