Have you Been Tagged in Some Random Photo on Facebook?
Does it keep happening? You receive a message on Facebook that you've been tagged in a photo, but when you go to look at the photo you discover that it wasn't you at all, but some sort of product, service, or half naked bimbo pushing some link to a scam website?
Exhibit A: The Random Photo of Some Bimbo Pushing a Scam Website.
Trust me, you are not alone. This is a growing problem with the Big Three Social Networks, Facebook, AOL and MySpace. It's a crappy guerrilla marketing effort taking over a lot of Facebook profiles lately and Facebook doesn't seem to have a fast solution to this problem yet. It's so slimy, we hesitate to even mention it here, however, we see so many users on Facebook frustrated and unfamiliar with how to stop it.
Exhibit B: Users don't seem to understand that complaining to the user directly doesn't do anything but frustrate you more.
So, how does this work? According to a wonderful article, I found by Sarah Perez, at ReadWriteWeb,
"Basically, a marketer looking to promote something tags a photo with several of their most influential friends' names. Those "friends" aren't necessarily supporting the given cause, they've just had their name hijacked for this purpose. That tagged photo ends up in the news feeds of the friends of those influentials as if it was a photo of them. After people click through to view it, they discover that it's not actually a picture of their friend at all, but a message in support of some cause, product, or service, or just to piss people off."
Exhibit C: One of the Biggest Spammers on Facebook right now - Kicksbay.com
Kicksbay.com is a scam website that has many online complaints of customers that purchased their supposed official shoes, however, all seem to be knock off fakes. And upon complaining, kicksbay seems to basically steal people's money by not giving refunds, nor responding to people after purchase. So DO NOT PURCHASE anything from this site! And DO NOT GIVE THEM YOUR CREDIT CARD INFORMATION!
It is also almost pointless to fight the company, as the website is based in Portugal, at least according to its hosting location.
Exhibit D: Kicksbay.com main website location information.
They also use another sister website that is a copy of the kicksbay website, to get around spamming issues from the kicksbay domain becoming more noticed, but don't be fooled... it is the same. See the hosted location info below to confirm.
Exhibit E: Scriptcut.com sister website location information.
Also, as reported by the great guys at ReadWriteWeb,
"For the marketer, this is an quick way to quickly push a message to wide group of people. Tag 20 friends, and through the friend-of-a-friend (FOAF) network, you could easily reach thousands.
"According to AdAge, photos are an ideal vehicle for marketers for three reasons. Sam Lessin writes, "First, people love them and tend to click on them all the time. Second, they get incredible real estate in news feed. Third, any message put into photos has a strange automatic relevance because it is attached to the name of a friend. Finally, there is a huge curiosity factor as to why a friend is tagged in an image."
"What's worse is that he concludes the article by encouraging people to use this new method of promotion. Yikes! We absolutely hate this idea and hope that Facebook figures out a way to stop this marketing loophole before news feeds get filled with spam."
How do You Fight Back?
So, to help you, and anyone else with the proper way to fight back, we have put together a few steps to remove the spammer, report them correctly to Facebook, and how to avoid this in the future.
Step 1: Report All Photos that you have been tagged in. If you were tagged in one photo of an album, most likely you were tagged in all photos of the album, so check all photos and report all photos of the album to Facebook (See Image Below. Bottom Right Side of Photo, Click the Text to report the photo as spam.
Step 2: Report All Photos that you have been tagged in. Next, to remove your name from the photos, find your name under the photo, and next to your name, you will see (remove my tag) or something similar to allow you to remove the tag. Once you remove the tag, it will no longer appear in your profile, or your wall. Be sure to check all photos in the album and remove tags on them too.
Step 3: Report The Profile to Facebook At the bottom left side of the spammer profile, you will see the (report/block) option. Please click this and follow the steps to report the spammer.
It will pop up a box that will look similar to this shown below. Follow the steps to successfully report the spammer to Facebook.
Step 4: Call Facebook (Optional) Facebook is notoriously slow about responding to spammer problems, however, if enough users start calling and reporting spammers, its possible that Facebook may move on it to shut us victims up.
The only number available is: 650-543-4800 - and there is not an option for spammer reporting, however, I am sure if you picked one that reaches a person, and let them know about the spammer, they would likely look into it to avoid any further wasted call times.
Step 5: Last but not Least.... Check out Who Friends You Not everyone is who they say they are. It is pretty easy to spot these spammer profiles. They mostly have random people on their photos that are not consistent with one face. They tend to use poor English, and they tend to not socialize very much in their profile stream.Final Thoughts
So, hopefully, this article helped you out and gave you some ammunition to fight the madness. It is very annoying to say the least for everyone. The most annoying thing that I believe are the people who don't do anything about it except complain, so I hope that with this information, you have the stuff you need to fight back. So, please report spammers so we can help Facebook deal with this growing problem and hopefully they will find a faster response mechanism to fight the nonsense.
If you find anymore spammers on Facebook, fake profiles, etc, leave a comment below so you can help others fight the problem. List every spammer you find here so we can continue to report them until they go away or at least we can stay on top of it every time a new one pops up.
Step 6: Report from your NewsFeed Button shown here below.