43% of Facebook messages are spam - the rest is almost worse

Facebook messages are overwhelmingly spam. Today I got my first one. Ugh.

I just read this research paper from HP Labs, in which the report notes that 43% of all Facebook messages are spam. This was a bit surprising to me since until today I had never received a spam message through Facebook. I have been waiting for a "feisti_vixen" most of my life - who knew it would take Facebook to bring us together?

She seems so lonely. Maybe she should get some new "friends" on Facebook. After all, even though I've yet to receive much mail from the likes of feisti_vixen, I get all sorts of worthless noise through Facebook. It's impossible to log in without being hounded by all sorts of glittering, vapid communication:

So-and-so just installed Super Fun Wall.

So-and-so is wondering will this day ever end?

And so on. It's a complete waste of time - even leisure time.

Facebook wants to be all things to all people. Unfortunately, it ends up doing nothing particularly well. I check Facebook once per week to see how my fantasy soccer team is doing. (My team looks suspiciously like Arsenal. :-) If Facebook would send me that information, I wouldn't have to log in even that one time.

Ultimately, Facebook has become one big yelling match as people try to blast out information to stand out above the din. They don't. Only feisti_vixen has found her Puritan way to my inbox. The rest are out blaring their headlines in Facebook land.

I'm not sure which is worse: spam in my inbox or spam in my Facebook. At least I can filter the former.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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