Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
April 13, 2006 8:04 AM

MySpace Adder Friend Requester - Welcome To MySpace Spam

This is where it all starts going to hell. One of the hottest online tools right now is automation software that enables you to add an unlimited amount of friends to your MySpace.

Welcome to MySpace Spam. Don't pretend like you didn't expect this.

These "friend management programs" have figured out a way to bypass the CAPTCHA - Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart (it looks like a box, with disfigured text and a gradient fill that must be re-typed in), customize comments and messages.

Now with a couple of keyboard strokes and clicks on a mouse, you can spam the entire MySpace world in hopes that some people will be foolish enough to add you, hence creating much more MySpace power.

Friend Management Programs will do one of two things: create so much unwanted requests for adds that the community starts to dwindle and stops using MySpace (too much spam). Or, we will experience a new concept that I have been exploring - Digital Darwinism.

Digital Darwinism is the same "survival of the fittest" concepts Charles Darwin presented, but for the digital space. If people abuse the power and spirit of Web 2.0 - like a Blog created simply for link love - the greater community will ignore it, spending their time and attention on stuff that matters and the Blog created solely for link love will become extinct (no traffic, no readers, no links - so why do it?).

Either way, communities like MySpace are now forced to develop even better technologies that can identify and stop tools like Friend Management Software. It has come to this: people creating technology to not only beat the system, but to make it easier to start a relationship. Online or offline, relationships take time, trust and openness to create.

Can automation technology replicate how we make friends and connect?

By Mitch Joel