Home Facebook Adds Zap-a-Spammer Button

Facebook Adds Zap-a-Spammer Button

Eric Eldon at InsideFacebook reports that the social network has begun experimenting with a new option for users to report the senders of friend requests as someone they don’t actually know. The prompt appears after you click to ignore a friend request.

Actually knowing a person isn’t a requirement to be their friend on Facebook (unlike LinkedIn, for example), so this is an odd choice of words, but presumably the vast majority of the site’s users do only want to be friends with people they’ve met. Facebook has strict limits on the number of messages and friend requests a person can send, but apparently that hasn’t worked well enough.

Two years ago

MySpace added a requirement

that any friend requests sent had to be verified as human using a CAPTCHA. That cut spam friend requests on MySpace down dramatically. There is no such requirement on Facebook.

Dealing with information overload and spam are key steps in creating and maintaining a user experience that keeps people coming back to non-essential websites like social networks – as opposed to email, which you’ll keep using anyway because you have to.

According to Eldon, Facebook hasn’t determined yet what it will do with these reports when filed. We regularly hear about people claiming abuse by the Facebook anti-spam team but every time we call Facebook about one of those complaints, the company’s response seems quite reasonable. People do a lot of obnoxious things on Facebook. I don’t know any of those people, though, and plan on clicking a button that says so when the opportunity arises.

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