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I think this qualifies as social-networking spam 

Anyone been spammed on Facebook yet? I don’t mean signing up to a list or group and getting multiple emails. I do mean getting spammed with “friend” requests.
   People like Robert Scoble will be familiar with that, but some of us with only a fraction of his presence on the web aren’t quite as used to it.
   A few months back, I received a bunch of requests from strangers in the fashion industry. I won’t get more specific than that, but their timing was suspect. I did learn that most of the requests were orchestrated by one or two people and they were not actually sent by the persons named.
   I still linked a few of the people and put them on limited-profile access, giving them the benefit of the doubt, but when I realized that they were going to other team members at Lucire, as each was added to the Facebook group there, I considered them to be spammers. This may be targeted better than most spam, but it plain didn’t feel right if the campaign is hitting to each team member in turn. Lucire editors et al do not join Facebook to be spammed.
   I did not care about these people’s updates on the first page of Facebook, because whatever they added was no better than an advertisement. And there are ads on Facebook already. I didn’t need any among my friend updates.
   I’m sure they would have still got a few links from people like me, unaware that this was happening on a wider scale. But at a small company, people talk. And when we all get requested by the same strangers in an orchestrated campaign, then it doesn’t look good. I advised team members to reject those requests and broke the connections I had.
   Facebook should be a personal tool. Yes, companies are on it. Some are even signed up as people (the American edition of Marie Claire, for instance, is signed up as a person, rather than a group). Some people might have their staff update pages, but I can deal with that if that person is someone I actually know. Or if I actually sought out those companies myself. But there’s nothing personal about targeted advertising from strangers. You don’t even need to be a big corporation to annoy people on social networks.

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Jack I fear that spam friend requests may begin to run as rampant on Facebook as they are on MySpace. I got a friend request from a woman the other day I had never heard of, but I added her assuming she was a reader of my blog. I sent her a message thanking her for the request and asking if she knew me from my blog, or from where. She never answered, and I checked her profile and noticed that almost every comment she had received on her wall was something like 'Hey do I know you?' or 'Thanks for the add, but do I know you?'. So I pulled her.

My guideline for requesting friends is if I know them or have talked to them either in person or in the past, I will request to be added. If we barely know each other, I will add a message reminding them of how we came in contact. I will do as you did, and give anyone that requests to be my friend the benefit of the doubt.

As we've already talked about, I see Facebook as a great tool to get to know acquaintances and contacts better. Given that the flow of information is more 'limited' with Facebook, that might help deter the spammers. Hopefully it will. Facebook has enormous potential if they don't let spammers and advertisers ruin the user experience, as MySpace has.  
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Entries from 2006 to the end of 2009 were done on the Blogger service. As of January 1, 2010, this blog has shifted to a Wordpress installation, with the latest posts here.
   With Blogger ceasing to support FTP publishing on May 1, I have decided to turn these older pages in to an archive, so you will no longer be able to enter comments. However, you can comment on entries posted after January 1, 2010.

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