May 19, 2022

New Index Shows Social Media Spam Is a Growing Concern

Impermium has released the first Impermium Index. 

From an Introductory Blog Post

[The Impermium Index is] the first, comprehensive set of data and analysis on the types and severity of social web spam and abuse. It shows that not only are social web attacks growing exponentially in number, but there is an increasing sophistication to the tactics used by spammers; we also reveal that your user growth stats may not be as accurate as you thought.

Sad news but NOT unexpected around here. We’re happy to see that this topic will hopefully getting more attention because it’s an issue we’ve been noticing and discussing for a long time. It’s also something we’ve noticed getting worse as social media expands.

Here are some highlights from the first issue of the index.


It’s based on a large representative sample of the social web — more than 104 million social media transactions collected over a 100 day period (June – August),  from a base of more than 90 million users spread across 72 countries.


Fraudulent accounts range from a low of 5 percent to an astonishing 40 percent of users. Scammers are registering accounts by the millions as they perpetrate fake “friend requests,” deceptive tweets, and the like, while the black market for bulk social networking accounts [purchase followers, friends, likes, etc] – is growing exponentially.

Social media exploitation techniques are evolving fast. If there is a strong consumer brand or significant news event, it’s being exploited on the social web. Social scammers are increasingly using emotionally-charged news to win clicks, relying on the deaths of Osama Bin Laden and Amy Winehouse, and news around Hurricane Irene and other major stories, to deceive users into clicking on malicious links.

“Sleeper cells” of social web abuse are a ticking time-bomb. In August, Impermium helped protect one prominent social network from a coordinated attack by more than 30,000 fraudulent accounts, which lit up in a single hour and attempted to submit more than 475,000 malicious wall posts. Even accounts you’ve had for years could be lying in wait for just the right moment.

Read the Complete Blog Post and/or View an Infographic With Social Spam Data

See Also: “Fake Facebook Accounts, Just $15. Click Here” (via PC Magazine)

See Also: Learn More About Impermium

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.