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Spam Hits Google Buzz Already 135

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the that-didn't-take-long dept.
ChiefMonkeyGrinder writes "Despite only being launched this week, spammers are already targeting Google Buzz, the search engine's social network." If my buzz box is any indicator, the spammers are pretty much the only people actually using Buzz, and until Facebook can integrate, I wonder if that will change. The Times also has a followup on Google's Apologies following various privacy bumbles throughout the launch of Buzz.
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Spam Hits Google Buzz Already

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  • ... until Facebook can integrate ...

    The only way Facebook would integrate is if it didn't view Buzz as a competitor in anyway. But Buzz is a competitor already in some respects. The damned thing keeps asking me to integrate with my Picassa account. And it is already integrated with GMail and GChat. So you've got ad revenue, messaging and pictures ... now Buzz needs finer tuned privacy control and a developer platform to be a direct competitor with Facebook. That last one is a big sticky mess though and Facebook seems to have done as best as possible with it.

    Hilarious that Google got bit on privacy concerns. Facebook learned the lengthy hard way on that one but it does give me hope that people are not entirely offering up their privacy to Google without batting an eye. Maybe the general public is not as doomed as we thought [slashdot.org]?

    Anyway, there is no way in hell Facebook would validate Buzz's existence by integrating with them. It would just give their users who already use GMail a chance to seamlessly transfer over to Buzz while keeping up with their archaic Facebook contacts. It would be potential suicide for Facebook to do such a thing if/when Google keeps up expanding Buzz.

    Personally I think Buzz targets another market but losing any number of users to Buzz does not make sense in anyway ... devoting time and resources to that endeavor makes even less sense. Facebook will sacrifice interaction between it's large user base and the few Buzz-only people in the name of maintaining its superiority. Really it's sad because the user loses out of being able to transfer and interact with users on Buzz ... but when you're as big as Facebook, you just don't care about those kinds of integration competitor benefits and 'features.'

    • Hilarious that Google got bit on privacy concerns. Facebook learned the lengthy hard way on that one...

      If by "learned the lengthy and hard way" you mean "has made a fortune off of, and has grown exponentially despite of, its continuously worsening lack of respect for user privacy" than I totally agree with you. Otherwise I don't think we're talking about the same Facebook.

    • They (google) can always copy facebook information by asking the user for their facebook login + password.

    • ow Buzz needs finer tuned privacy control

      It's as fine-grained as you want it to be. Each Buzz can be published to any contact group you want, and you can select as many or as few as you want.

      I'd never used groups in Gmail, but after spending about 20 minutes to sort my most common contacts into groups, I was able to publish Buzzes to specific groups of friends. For example, my friends really into cars probably are less interested in my posts about community group events.

      End result, if you're smart,

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:43AM (#31144594) Journal
    I think Buzz targets people who desire a very simple interface. It seems to perform a lot better on my slow machine than Facebook but is negligible on my main box. Honestly I haven't experienced any Spam on Buzz at all. Don't you have to follow the Spam bot or hacked account to get the Spam?

    It's missing a lot of options, I guess time will tell if that is the intent or merely TBD yet. I do like how it's integrated with Google Reader. I share a lot of my news offerings with my followers. I don't like that it wants me to integrate with Picassa. I simply have too many Google contacts (some Slashdot readers I've never met!) to have them looking at my pictures!

    So the one thing that Buzz has over Facebook is Aardvark [slashdot.org]. I signed up for that three or four days ago and have asked a question [vark.com] (with very positive results) and answered a [vark.com] few [vark.com] questions [vark.com]. I didn't get quite what I wanted out of answering questions although I think the people that answered my question did a pretty good job. How this is different from Yahoo Answers or Wiki Answers seems to be that it's tightly integrated with Buzz and GChat. Also it actively finds things for you to answer. I'm guessing what Google has with mining your e-mail and chats and searches it will use to locate experts for your questions and also pair you with better questions you're more capable of answering. A lot remains to be seen as to whether or not this is an actual beneficial addition or some more of the bloat a Facebook application would have to offer one.

    Yes, I have already made two book purchases off of those suggestions from my question. Note that a problem with GChat caused two of my questions (which I tried to designate as separate) get slotted into one question. I could just hear the software thinking: the second question is about authors, he must be continuing his thought.

    Personally I'm not leaving Facebook for Buzz. But I'm not decommissioning Buzz. I'm keeping it as a sort of News social network much like The Auteurs [theauteurs.com] and Afternoon Records Community [ning.com] are for my movies and music respectively. Granted none of these niche networks get as much time as the all encompassing Facebook, they still exist harmoniously in the bag of sites I visit. I recognize I'm probably an outlier though.
  • What's next? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by BadAnalogyGuy (945258)

    If there's anything I've learned over the years watching technology, it's that if everyone is suddenly climbing aboard a certain technology, it's time to find the next big thing.

    Social computing may be really hot right now, but I'm wondering what the next big thing is going to be. First we had personal websites, then we moved to blogs, then to social computing and tweeting. What's next? What are you working on or with that is the next step in technological evolution?

    • "First we had personal websites"

      Hmm, no, first we had Bulletin Boards, Xchat and Gopher.

      There hasn't really been anything new on the internet since about 1970.

      People think that if they add colour or more pixels to something that it becomes a new idea, but it is merely an incremental improvement of the same old crap.

    • by Culture20 (968837)

      First we had personal websites, then we moved to blogs, then to social computing and tweeting.

      Isn't that like saying first we had automobiles, then we moved to cars, then to mass transit and bicycling. I thought blogs were personal web logs.

    • by harmonise (1484057) on Monday February 15, 2010 @02:18PM (#31147254)

      What are you working on or with that is the next step in technological evolution?

      Teledildonics

  • by MediaStreams (1461187) on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:55AM (#31144770)

    "If my buzz box is any indicator, the spammers are pretty much the only people actually using Buzz, and until Facebook can integrate, i wonder if that will change. "

    Wow, way to make to make yourself look silly submitter:

    http://mashable.com/2010/02/14/google-buzz-column/ [mashable.com]

    "Google Buzz's Skyrocketing Usage
    While it's still very early into Buzz's life cycle, initial indications show that Google has a hit on its hands. Linking Buzz to Gmail's millions of users has clearly brought people into the company's new social domain.

    Google has only released two numbers so far: there have been over 9 million posts and comments in about 56 hours, amounting to around 160,000 posts and comments per hour. That's even more impressive if you consider the fact that most users didn't get Buzz until Wednesday the 10th.

    The other number: over 200 mobile check-ins per minute, nearly 300,000 mobile check-ins per day.

    Those numbers are simply stellar."

    Every major blogger is using Buzz now and some of them are saying they already have a larger Buzz following in just a few days than they had with other social media sites that they spent years building up.

    • by IANAAC (692242)

      Every major blogger is using Buzz now and some of them are saying they already have a larger Buzz following in just a few days than they had with other social media sites that they spent years building up.

      The impressive numbers in the linked blog are assuming that all GMail users are, in fact, also using Buzz. That's a rather general asumption, no?

      Don't what major blogger(s) you refer to, but most of the daily blogs I read have been very quick to mention they've turned off Buzz completely, and provide

      • From my buzz Inbox, and I quote:

        Jeff - Buzz - Public - Muted
        what the hell is this?

        Sean - no one knows. its like google wave raped twitter. kinda like how blade was formed...

        How many of those 9 million posts you referenced are complaining about buzz, asking how to turn it off, and asking why in gods name is there no button to kill it with fire? Seriously, I need a button to kill it with fire. I would never stop pressing it.

        • by dylan_- (1661)

          How many of those 9 million posts you referenced are complaining about buzz

          Why the hell did you choose to try it out if you didn't want to try it out?

          asking how to turn it off

          Click "Turn off Buzz".

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by BrokenHalo (565198)
      Every major blogger is using Buzz now...

      You might as well say "Every major loser is using Buzz now". Most bloggers write drivel (hence this [dropline.net]), and I fail to see the value in Google providing yet another means for cretins to prattle inanities into the void.
      • by Sporkinum (655143)

        There's no stoppin' the cretins from hoppin'
        You gotta keep it beatin'
        For all the hoppin' cretins

        Gabba gabba we accept you, we accept you one of us!
        Gabba gabba we accept you, we accept you one of us!

        (Mixin' me Ramones!)

    • by WinterSolstice (223271) on Monday February 15, 2010 @11:15AM (#31145040)

      I have to agree with this. I found buzz to be just about ideal - it's unobtrusive, simple. and more of a 'feed aggregator' than a twitter app.

      One of my friends just uses it to share his twitter feed with those of us not using twitter. Another just uses it for occasional comments on his flickr photo stream. I use it just for the occasional IM type comment that I would want to send to 3 or 4 people (not things like "I'm watching the game", but things like "everyone who bet on x owes me money", or "did you see this news story").

      Sure, it's kinda pointless. But it does a really good job of combining several disparate feeds of pointless into one simple console that I already have open anyway.

      It's a win for me.

      • by martas (1439879)
        me too. i've been using it a lot as a pretty (albeit entirely useless, for me) icon on the side of gmail. it's a revolution, i tells ya!
      • by Lumpy (12016)

        Feed aggregator? just use yahoo pipes and create a custom one.

        That's what I did, I simply filter my own facebook feed to give me friends feeds, as well as twitter and the like. works great and I have 100% control.

        • Yeah, Yahoo Pipes is nice indeed. I just wish it there was a more "programming" approach to it, instead of the GUI stuff.

          • Sure, but Yahoo is powered by Bing... and I'm not a big fan of Bing.

            Yahoo was fine 10 years ago - now they're just a mess. Google may be the same in 10 years, I guess we'll see.

            I wouldn't create a yahoo account just to create a aggregator by hand, nor would I create a gmail account for Buzz. But hey, if you have one or the other, might as well use it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Korbeau (913903)

      Google Buzz's Skyrocketing Usage

      When the usage passed from 0 to 1, one might argue it got infinitely more popular!

    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by Dachannien (617929)

      How does any of that refute the initial assertion, that most of the "buzz" about Buzz is the result of spammers?

      Gmail is a notorious harbor for forum spam e-mail accounts (used to receive the "click this link to complete your registration" e-mails from forums), meaning the spammers already have countless registered accounts on Gmail. It would seem trivial to update the spambots to use those accounts for the purpose of spamming other folks on Buzz.

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      that's just everyone in Brazil.

      Kinda like how Orcut turned into a non starter for social media.

    • by cpscotti (1032676)
      and 99% of that 9 million posts is:
      "testing... testing",
      "is this going to work?"
      or
      "hi all"
    • by afabbro (33948) on Monday February 15, 2010 @12:38PM (#31146036) Homepage

      While it's still very early into Buzz's life cycle, initial indications show that Google has a hit on its hands.

      My astroturfing meter is pegged.

    • Rarely have I read such complete bollocks.

  • I like how TFA is pretty much a fluff piece which doesn't even bother showing a single link to (or even screenshot) of said Google Buzz spam. It's not hard to find; like with Buzz searches for pharma-related terms: https://mail.google.com/mail/?shva=1#buzz/search/levitra [google.com]

    • I had some kid who is running for state office spam me. At first I though it was a legit comment, until the exact same comments (and reply comments) appeared on a dozen people I know's buzz accounts.

  • by FlyingBishop (1293238) on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:59AM (#31144842)

    What makes Facebook so good is that it's all tied to people - even the fake accounts need to seem to be people.

    When you enable social networking for everyone who thought they were signing up for a mailbox, you're naturally going to cause a mess. Social networking is about the walled garden, and the security it gives you in terms of who you're talking to.

    The underlying problem is one of anonymity and the Internet, and finding a way to verify identity without a walled garden. If Google is looking at innovating, they need to find a compelling way to bridge the anonymity gap.

    • and the security it gives you in terms of who you're talking to.

      Which is to say: none. Does anyone here believe that Facebook wouldn't sell data mined from your logged chats down the river if they thought that it would make them a buck? I also have no doubt that they would roll over immediately if certain three letter agencies demanded their user data; heck, they would probably roll over for a phony DMCA notice. Facebook doesn't care about privacy; their founder, Mark Zuckerberg, has said as much [guardian.co.uk].

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by FlyingBishop (1293238)

        I meant security about authentication. Email is probably more secure than Facebook in terms of knowing that your communication is private (even on Gmail, though only marginally so.) What Facebook means is that when you get a message from someone, you can be fairly sure it came from that person. At least as sure as you can possibly be without that person personally comparing the message you're looking at to the one they sent. Even if you're using public key authentication, there's still the potential for an

      • Does anyone here believe that Facebook wouldn't sell data mined from your logged chats down the river if they thought that it would make them a buck?

        If that bothers you, do what I do: don't participate. I've never been to Facebook, let alone registered. Never seen the point of it, really. And, I might add, I turned both Google Buzz and Chat off as quickly as possible because I find them pointless. Let them data mine all they want, AFAIC because there's nothing of mine there for them to sell.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      What makes Facebook so good is that it's all tied to people - even the fake accounts need to seem to be people.

      Current prices for a facebook account on the spam markets are around $5 per 1000 friends. Creating fake accounts that seem to be people isn't that hard - just scrape pics of hot girls off MySpace, couple with a fake name generator and off you go (assuming you can get past Facebooks defences of course, but then GMail has defences too).

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by FlyingBishop (1293238)

        Well, that's why I don't friend people I don't actually know. I don't think I'm unusual in this, at least among those who picked up Facebook back when it was restricted to higher ed.

        The thing that makes Facebook superior to Gmail is that if you get a message from Joe Smith on Facebook, and his picture and friends correspond to a Joe Smith you know, Facebook is very good about making sure that it is in fact Joe Smith talking to you. Obviously a random person you've never met is not guaranteed to be a real pe

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by lennier (44736)

      Social networking is about the walled garden, and the security it gives you in terms of who you're talking to.

      The underlying problem is one of anonymity and the Internet, and finding a way to verify identity without a walled garden. If Google is looking at innovating, they need to find a compelling way to bridge the anonymity gap.

      I agree that social networking is about verifiable identity, but disagree that it is or should be about the walled garden. Current social networks ARE walled gardens, and that's a huge net negative for me.

      What frustrates me hugely is that we've had email identity-verification proposals like SPF for years now and always people say 'meh that's useless it doesn't stop spam'. But it's not about spam (bulk of mail received from strangers). It's about identity (knowing that someone who sends to you is who they sa

    • by st0nes (1120305)

      What makes Facebook so good is that it's all tied to people - even the fake accounts need to seem to be people.

      Like this one? [facebook.com]

  • And if my inbox is an indicator, Spammers are the only ones -not- using it.

    Seriously. 1 inbox as a measure of success?

    Now, for seriousness... HOW are the spammers hitting it? The article doesn't say, and I've never seen it myself. With twitter, you can target a person just like you can with email... Does Buzz do that? Or is there some way to force things into a user's feed?

    • by Andy Dodd (701)

      Same here, so far I haven't seen any spam. After all, you choose who you follow.

      So far it just seems like another Twitter with a few extra bells and whistles (namely, the "Remember me" function ACTUALLY working, instead of consistently logging me out over and over again like Twitter does) to me.

      • Re:Indicator (Score:5, Informative)

        by nschubach (922175) on Monday February 15, 2010 @01:55PM (#31146960) Journal

        No spam here... Compared to Facebook and those incessant applications everyone keeps using. I have quite literally turned off everything but allowing friends to post on my wall and I still get invites to make someone's farm bigger or stupid greeting card invites. I see no option to deny all applications forever, only individual ones as they are sent to me.

  • I can't wait for Buzz astroturfing. It's the perfect format for it, considering it is geo-tagged and then piggybacked onto one of the most popular online maps.

    So, a store just needs to post lots of fake positive buzzes, like "Wow, I can't believe the great deal on shoes/hardware I just got at Macy's/Best Buy" centered around your store. Alternatively, you can pay real people (preferably me) to do the astroturfing for you.

  • No spam in my buzz box... also I would add that buzz imho is great.
  • For me, if in my GMail, next to Inbox it says something like (1) or some other value (N), then to me that's an indicator: I have a mail or a TODO! Must process the mail to get back to 0 unread messages!

    Now suddenly this Buzz thing appeared below Inbox, and it sometimes also gets a (1) next to it, and this for things that I'm currently not using (I'm waiting a bit until all the privacy things are settled and/or enough friends push me into using it before actually using it)!

    So the Buzz gives my GMail the appe

    • It's worse.

      I've been seeing Buzz showing up in Inbox, if I've replied to someone's comment and someone replies to THAT.

      • by nschubach (922175)

        What's up with two posts from two supposedly different people in the same thread wanting to "kill it with fire?"

        http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1550596&cid=31145428 [slashdot.org]

        • by argent (18001)

          What's up with two posts from two supposedly different people in the same thread wanting to "kill it with fire?"

          Results 1 - 10 of about 39,000,000 for "kill it with fire". (0.24 seconds)

          • by nschubach (922175)

            I must really be getting old, because I don't see the point of stressing that you want to kill it "with fire" when you could say something much more concise. "Kill it with fire" sounds like something ripped straight from the bowels of an A.D.D. teen populated forum. The only thing that could make it more juvenile would be to change the spelling of the words and paste it in a picture of a cat with a stupid look on it's face.

            *shakes fist and mumbles *

            • by argent (18001)

              I must really be getting old

              Could be. Could be.

              like something ripped straight from the bowels of an A.D.D. teen populated forum.

              This is Slashdot.

      • by slim (1652)

        That's exactly how it works. Fine by me. You can mute an individual buzz, or you can opt out of having it in your Gmail interface altogether. So what are you complaining about?

        • by argent (18001)

          It's not that it shows up in the gmail interface, that's fine. It's that it also sends followups to your Inbox if you "like" or "comment" on a message. That happens whether you have buzz in your interface or not.

          It's as if Facebook didn't give you a way to turn off notifications going to email.

  • If you're Buzz box is full of spam, it means you you are following spammers. Either you suck at finding new people to follow, or your frequent contacts are spammers. Either way, "you're doing it wrong."

    If you don't like what someone is posting in Buzz, don't follow them.

    • by Funnnny (1409625)
      Just followed Mashable, and then my Buzz inbox full of Buzzes and comment.
      Still need some ways to filter out or search friend ( the current search is wayyyy slow )
  • by Fnkmaster (89084) on Monday February 15, 2010 @12:19PM (#31145814)

    For years now, it's been "Gmail is so great", "why don't you use Gmail?" I've been that curmudgeon who has these strange ideas about privacy and not entrusting too much data to one company.

    I felt vindicated the other day when my wife freaked out upon seeing people she had emailed with on gmail sudden on her new friends list in the Google Buzz system that she never signed up for, along with the suggestion that she share photos with them and other private data about every action she takes on any system owned by Google.

    On Facebook, at least you went into it *knowing* that everything you post there gets shared with every person you once spoke to in a grad school class who friended you randomly three years later. Google has insidiously roped you into using a bunch of disconnected services that were great and generally free and all the while, you've known that sure, they collect data they can use for advertising to you, but it's all so goddamned warm and fuzzy, what's there to worry about?

    Suddenly, you find that Google Reader, Picasa, Gmail, etc. are all part of a social networking service you didn't intend to sign up for and Google is trying to push you into sharing everything you do with everybody you email with.

    I consider this utterly, well, evil. Deceitful. Sketchy. This stuff needs to be totally opt-in.

    I helped my wife turn off all the "sharing" features of Buzz. But could not find any way to completely opt-out of Buzz. There didn't seem to be a way, other than to cease using Gmail entirely. I consider that vile.

    • by Nidi62 (1525137) on Monday February 15, 2010 @12:36PM (#31146014)

      But could not find any way to completely opt-out of Buzz. There didn't seem to be a way, other than to cease using Gmail entirely. I consider that vile.

      Go into full gmail, and scroll all the way to the bottom. Right above the line that has all the legal stuff is another line with things like "Gmail view" "turn off/on chat" "Turn off/on Buzz". Click on turn off buzz. It will then be removed from the list of links on the top left-hand side with Inbox, Drafts, and all that.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Yes, but you still have your followers if you turn off the Buzz tab.

        • by slim (1652)

          It doesn't matter how many followers you have if you never post anything on Buzz.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 2010 @02:17PM (#31147240)

        When you click on "Turn off Buzz" it just removes the Buzz link from your gmail UI. That's it; it doesn't disable Buzz!

        More details here [google.com].

      • Thank You! I looked at Buzz... it looks like twitter... I never use twitter. For what I do, facebook works fine and buzz is not needed.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 2010 @02:49PM (#31147640)

        Click on turn off buzz. It will then be removed from the list of links on the top left-hand side with Inbox, Drafts, and all that.

        Unfortunately, it seems that removing the link from the sidebar is in fact all it'll do. Here [cnet.com]'s how to really disable buzz for good, courtesy of CNet.

        • by Fnkmaster (89084)

          I knew we weren't crazy - my wife and I had this feeling it was just turning off the UI without actually opting you out of Buzz. Anybody who considers this an honest, straightforward product launch is out of their fucking mind.

    • by icebrain (944107)

      I've been trying to find an alternative to gmail for just the reasons you've specified. Do you have any suggestions? I've thought about using my ISP but I don't know if I trust them much further than Google...

    • You have to enable it and you can disable it. I fail to see how giving people more options is a bad thing
  • But that may be because I'm only following people I actually know, and a few of the more lucid friends of theirs.

    Who on earth are you following that are spamming you, and why are you following them?

  • That's an app someone needs to write. In a hurry. Sure would save some time.

    Suppose it will be in beta forever?

  • And Begg-Smith gets the gold!
  • Buzz lets you choose who to follow, and I don't see how you can get spam from people you didn't choose to hear from?

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