Will this be the most spammed World Cup ever?

Published byJoel Bailey

From spamming Social media spam bots are a menace to users and moderators across social media channels. Unfortunately, we expect the 2022 World Cup, starting on 20 November in Qatar, will incite a wave of social media spam.

During the last tournament hosted by Russia in 2018, cyber criminals launched millions of social engineering attacks on supporters — from phishing scams to betting fraud. Not only did these attacks have stressful implications for victims, but they also spelt trouble for businesses whose employees accessed this content through company devices.

More than 95,000 people reported about $770 million in losses to fraud initiated on social media platforms in 2021. Those losses account for about 25% of all reported losses to fraud in 2021 and represent a huge eighteen fold increase over 2017 reported losses. Reports are up for every age group, but people 18 to 39 were more than twice as likely as older adults to report losing money to social media scams.

Social media teams can now protect their followers from these fraudsters bty using AI to automatically remove these bots from their channels.

What are social media spambots?

Often designed to imitate human users, bots are internet robots that send large quantities of spam messages online. These autonomous accounts are becoming an increasing nuisance, with almost 47% of social media users reporting seeing more spam in their feeds despite networks’ efforts to block this type of content.

Not only are spam messages an annoyance for the people that manage and follow accounts, but many spammers are also scammers. And as individuals and businesses seek new online marketing opportunities, cyber criminals follow suit — developing new ways to generate spam and entice more victims into their net.

So, what are the most common types of social media spam bots, and what can be done to stop them from taking over your comment sections?

The different types of spambots

Social media spam bots come in several guises and have many target audiences, using any means necessary to steal users’ attention before attempting to get either clicks or data. Understanding the different forms these fake profiles can take is the key to recognising fraudulent content — and acting against it.

Some of the most common bots are pornbots: fake accounts that tempt users (often teenagers and men) to click on dodgy website links by promoting free pornography. Some pornbot accounts make money through affiliate links, whereas others use phishing techniques to extract personal information from their victims.

Cryptocurrency bots are also proving increasingly troublesome across social media. These accounts are especially prevalent on Twitter, where the crypto community is highly active, inviting bots to spam popular accounts with malicious links to steal two-factor authentication from crypto investors and gain access to their finances.

And it’s not just other social media users that cyber criminals target with bots; some spam accounts take advantage of businesses, too. For example, advertising bots generate fake impressions on pay-per-click (PPC) ads created by fraud perpetrators, prompting the host network to pay the scammer for counterfeit click-throughs.

These accounts have become so rife across social media channels that it can be tricky to tell the phoney profiles from the real ones, with one report finding the volume of spam and bot-driven content grew by a staggering 355% in the space of just six months.

As such, all social media managers and users must stay alert to the signs of a spam bot attack — and take preventative action before they strike.

Although not all spam accounts have malicious intent, it’s crucial to be able to respond quickly when these unwanted messages appear to avoid facing the consequences of a spam campaign. That’s why we recommend fighting automation with automation using our innovative comment moderation tool.

Tackling the spam using AI

We use artificial intelligence (AI) to filter out the type of content you don’t want to see in under a second, including spam from bots. By hiding messages before they’re viewed and preventing spammers from piling on to single messages, we’re making social media social again by allowing users to take back control of their accounts and stopping spam from distracting from the content you work hard to create.

Don’t wait until it’s too late — book a demo today and enlist the support of our AI-powered comment moderation tool ahead of the World Cup to ensure your accounts remain a healthy space for your followers. 

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