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Breaking news: The community rises up to bust a Facebook scam

Blogger Brad J. Ward of SquaredPeg.com discovered that CollegeProwler.com is using fake identities, shills, and other sleazy tactics to create hundreds of Facebook groups meant to deceive students and cash in on university brand names.

Read his extraordinary investigation here.

I love this!  Especially wonderful is how the community has rallied to help with the investigation, spread the word, and out the scum.

Lessons:

  1. Lying about your identity is unethical.  There is no gray area.
  2. You will always get busted. One truth about word of mouth is that the truth always rises to the surface.
  3. Your reputation will be permanently damaged.  The community that you were trying to deceive will smack you upside the head.

Learn more about social media ethics from the Blog Council and WOMMA.

Brad and friends – extraordinary work.  Nicely done.

Spread the word – share this story.

(Thanks for the tip,

Nick Scarpino)

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Comments

  1. Penina December 20, 2008 at 1:04 pm #

    Andy, thanks for posting about this. I believe in social media because I believe in people. Let this be the year the non-believers fall off the game board!

  2. Neil Schwartzman December 20, 2008 at 1:55 pm #

    I forwarded the original blogpost onto some people seated near to FB security.

  3. Bradjward December 21, 2008 at 8:33 am #

    Andy – thanks for the extended coverage on the situation, very appreciated. College Prowler has been very upfront about the situation, with the CEO leaving a few comments on the blog to explain their stance.

  4. Andy Sernovitz December 21, 2008 at 9:38 am #

    What College Prowler did was just plain wrong–and no innocent mistake. It’s unethical, illegal, and fully meant to profit off of deception. An incomplete apology after the fact doesn’t change that.

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