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Facebook, you are not my friend

Who is Allison Gray and why is she inviting her to be my Facebook friend? Twice in 24 hours I’ve received a facebook invite from a woman named Allison Gray. I have no idea who she is and why she is inviting me to be her friend.

Hi Robert,
I set up a Facebook profile with my pictures, videos and events and I want to add you as a friend so you can see it. First, you need to join Facebook! Once you join, you can also create your own profile.
———-
Sorry to send this to you guys again, but I had to recreate my account. Yes, I’m a dummy when it comes to anything technology…I’m slowly learning though. Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year
———-
Thanks,
Allison

It’s possible I do know her. I know 3 Allisons in Houston, and I’ve known several Allisons over time, and it’s conceivable that this is a married name. Or maybe I met her somewhere or maybe we’ve exchanged emails sometime. But:

  1. The invitation came to my normal email, not to the email reserved for these damn social networking systems.
  2. I have specifically blocked email notifications for friend invites on Facebook.
  3. My own profile is easy to locate on Facebook (not that I’m encouraging anybody to send me an invite; really I don’t care).
  4. The message is of the generic kind without specificity of details.
  5. I did not receive an invite on my Facebook account.
  6. There is no way to search for her easily on Facebook.
  7. The provided URL simply brings me to the facebook home page and not to her request.

Therefore, I conclude this is a spam request and Facebook deleted the account. (I’m guessing there’s some downloadable spyware or malicious Facebook application involved). Here is why this spam request is particularly insidious:

  1. The email request itself comes with photos of three individuals I do know, along with their names. An observer might assume that Allison is somehow connected to these names. In fact, these photos have nothing to do with the request being made.
  2. When I clicked the URL to the deleted account, I did not get an error message; I just got redirected to the home page. In other words, facebook is trying to hide the fact that spammers are abusing the system. If they said, “This user has been blocked for violation of the Terms of Service,” I could understand it. Hiding it is something I don’t understand.
  3. Helpfully, facebook makes it easy to import addresses from outlook/gmail/yahoo mail. Gee thanks! That decreases the amount of effort needed to send mass emails through facebook!
  4. Why should Facebook allow such mass emails to take place? Why can’t they limit the number of email facebook requests a user can send (to maybe 10)?
  5. I just checked my facebook Inbox. I have 1 Inbox message. A friend from long ago? No, a meeting announcement from Tex Blog PAC Fundraiser in October Now, I know the person who made the request, and I don’t mind hearing from him occasionally, but this mail is hardly new. I just chose not to open it. Why is this considered new mail in my Inbox? The last 7 times I have logged on, I have had to click my Inbox hyperlink just to remember what this Unread mail actually was? Also, I’m going to the facebook site already; why can’t these sort of announcements just fit in a neat (and small) on the home page.

(I recall someone’s line about software becomes bloatware when it has the capability to send/receive email). Away, Facebook, Away!

Solution: Create this Email Rule: Automatically redirect all email from facebookmail.com to Trash.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • GreginFL 1/10/2010, 6:52 pm

    I got one of those too and I’M NOT EVEN ON FACEBOOK (never have been – I was on myspace but +5 years ago)!!!

    I’m searching for a reason why and that’s how I found this page. It’s creeping me out as there are 9 people in there – 2 co-workers in 2 different countries, totally unrelated, 2 fraternity brothers from 20 years ago, my brother, his ex-girlfriend, the webmaster/forum moderator of our local home town newspaper website (know the name but not personally), and 2 people I have no idea who they are.

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