Zombie Spambot Holocaust

12 February 2014

some zombies earlier
some zombies earlier

Anyone who has ever been on Twitter for more than five minutes knows that it has its fair share of zombies, but a recent episode of a user literally being targeted by the undead, has left them a bit cheesed off and distressed.

Asher Wolf had noticed that she’d gained 100 new followers in one big swoop, and on closer inspection, it looked as though the undead had taken a shine to her feed. Noticing that they were all fake account bots, she felt as though someone had signed her up to a zombie botnet thing.

As the day progressed, another several thousand zombies had started following, leading Asher to change the security settings on her Twitter, yet still left with a hoard of bots to report and block, her task no doubt echoing Bauhaus' "Undead, undead, undead" as she scrolled through them.

After the Australian Twitter office had responded to Asher, she learned that a number of other users had been hit in a similar fashion. Eventually, a tweet arrived from one of the zombies telling her that she’d survived the zombie “outbreak” and that the new series of The Walking Dead was starting at 8.30pm on FXAU that night.

Now understandably outraged, Asher realised that the social media marketing department of a channel she didn’t even subscribe to, had spammed her and others willy nilly about it.

Having located the source of the spam, a company called FutureApp2017, which is connected to The Clemenger Group of companies that specialise in advertising and marketing solutions, which is in turn connected to the Omnicom Group – the largest communications group in the world.

After a quick scan of Section 16 of the Spam Act 2003 showed that if the viral advertising campaign had originated from the Clemenger Group and Foxtel’s FX Australia channel as their client, they may have potentially breached federal law forbidding electronic spam.

If the zombie Twitter bots originated from FX Australia or a paid contractor, then it appears they are also potentially in breach of Twitter’s terms of service, seeing as it looked very much like FX Australia had hired a company to spam people on Twitter.

TOPICS:   Social Media

2 comments

  • amazon s.
    Twitter is shit, it is incomprehensibly the worst platform to talk to anyone. It's like someone woke up one day and thought: Text messages are a bit long aren't they...
  • Grammar N.
    Is it really spamming just to follow someone? Also, the original article is ridiculously over the top melodrama.

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