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Poll application causes Facebook spam outbreak

There appears to be a flaw a new feature in the third party Poll application, causing newly created polls and quizzes to be unintentionally shared (read: spammed) across one’s friends’ profiles and pages.

By checking two options ─which both require extended permissions─ a poll published to one specific profile or page by a certain user, will be embedded all over Facebook confronting total strangers with personal or out-of-context questions (“Do you think I’m funny”) and provoking their polite reactions (“How should I know, I don’t know you”) to the inescapable rude (“No and you deserve to die”). Clearly, many users don’t understand the consequences of these options and just happily check them.

The first signs of the “accidental” spam issue were noticed little over 24 hours ago on several of our own pages, including the reface.me fan page (which we have now cleaned up). Now even the Poll application page ─at least at the time of writing─ is suffering from the problem. Admins of popular pages are going to have a lot of maintenance to do. And entailed privacy issues and exploit opportunities dictate that Facebook should tackled this rather sooner than later. We’ll keep you posted.

Thanks to Sean Hughes for pointing me to the options.

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Side notes

Poll application causes Facebook spam outbreak Posted by on February 17, 2010 at 8:07 PM. Use this trackback if you're linking this story.

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