Sunday, November 8, 2009

Facebook Scam Artists

Normally I'll blog about interesting, funny, or preposterous nonsense that I encounter in my varied travels across the internet-o-sphere. But today is not such a day. I am appalled at the breaking story at TechCrunch which details how Facebook games like Farmville and Mobsters is nothing more than an attempt to trick users into buying useless goods and siphoning off personal information to create further spam.

Although there are a variety of offenders by far the worst violator is Zynga. You think I'm making this up? Check out the very words out of the mouth of the CEO of Zynga as he spoke at a start up meeting in Berkeley: I knew that I wanted to control my destiny, so I knew I needed revenues, right, [swear word], now. Like I needed revenues now. So I funded the company myself but I did every horrible thing in the book to just to get revenues right away. I mean we gave our users poker chips if they downloaded this zwinky toolbar which was like, I don't know, I downloaded it once and couldn’t get rid of it. *laughs* We did anything possible just to just get revenues so that we could grow and be a real business…So control your destiny. So that was a big lesson, controlling your business. So by the time we raised money we were profitable."

I will note that after this story broke that the Zynga folks were nice enough to say that they would consider not scamming you any more. After all, they will make 100 million dollars this year by suckering you and can stop being immoral now. Much appreciated.

So kidz, how could you possibly do anything about this? The power of the internet is in numbers and word-of-mouth. Pass this post onto your friendz. Urge them to stop playing Zynga games like Cafe World, Dragon Wars, FarmVille, Fashion Wars, Mafia Wars, Pirates, Roller Coaster, Scramble, Special Forces, Vampires, Word Twist, and YoVille! You have to hit them where it hurts: their pocketbook.

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