Facebook's 3rd Biggest Advertiser Accused Of Being Affiliate Toolbar Scam; Facebook Says It's Never Heard Of The Company
from the just-like-the-old-days... dept
Marshall Kirkpatrick, over at ReadWriteWeb, digs in deeper and wonders if anyone at Facebook or Microsoft is actually minding the store. Even if they didn't directly know this was happening, if this is really the third largest advertiser on Facebook, both of those companies had to know something was up, just based on the numbers. A company like Facebook is intimately aware of its third biggest advertiser, and if the company is really driving that much traffic to Bing, then Microsoft would surely know about it as well.
Of course, this is where the story gets more bizarre. While Microsoft's response to this story was to cut off the company, Facebook's response was to claim that the company isn't an advertiser at all, let alone the third largest advertiser on the site. So how is it that reports suggest the company is the third largest advertiser, when Facebook claims they're not an advertiser at all? The company does have a slight hedge, by saying that "any affiliates that try to push people there we would shut down." So it's possible that it was hidden through some sort of affiliate setup before Facebook caught it -- but no one seems to be revealing any of the details.
Either way, all of this sounds quite reminiscent of the old adware days, where all sorts of sketchy companies would trick people into installing software to scrape up affiliate revenue. We hadn't seen much of that lately, as many of the old players eventually got wiped out, but it's hardly a surprise that similar schemes would quickly jump up in a Facebook world, whether or not it was officially through Facebook's advertising functionality.