Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

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MySpace: taking steps to clamp down on application spam

MySpace: taking steps to clamp down on application spam

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One of the annoying things about Facebook is that whenever I want to install an application, or respond to a friend's application, I have to install it, check 5 different checkboxes and then ask if I want to send the notification to all my friends.  The first couple steps I can deal with, but having all of my friends pre-checked is a real hassle.  I usually just hit Cancel before I hit Unselect All.  I just don't trust the application to unselect the first page and all subsequent pages of my friends (iow, uncheck all my friends on page 1 of my list of friends but keep everyone else checked... I have trust issues with Facebook developers).

Anyhow, here's an article from PC World about some of the issues that MySpace is facing, similar to Facebook before it.

Like Facebook before it, MySpace is having to take corrective steps to curb spam from applications built by external developers using its new application development platform.

In a posting to the official MySpace Developers blog on Tuesday, MySpace President Tom Anderson announced changes to the application guidelines intended to prevent developers from building self-promotional features into their applications that result in intrusive and deceitful behavior, such as generating unsolicited messages to other users or tricking application users into approving such actions.

"The main thrust of these changes is to limit app communications that are based on incentivizing or tricking users. To be clear, the purpose of these changes is to emphasize to developers that their focus should be on creating great apps that users will want to tell each other about. The best viral software is software you can't live without. Unfortunately, for some developers, the focus has been on how to come up with the best methods of viral distribution," Anderson wrote.

Hooray for MySpace.  If you really do have a good application, you shouldn't have to spam everyone else in order to promote it.

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