frandroid: YPG logo, Syrian Kurdish defense forces (Default)
[personal profile] frandroid
Is anyone else having a fair lot of Russians friending them? I've been getting a few every week for a while. Since I don't understand their journals, it puzzles me a little bit. If you are one of them ([livejournal.com profile] ovalezd, [livejournal.com profile] ygortw, [livejournal.com profile] lenbyoj, [livejournal.com profile] shaeorn, [livejournal.com profile] upomoejvs), I would be interested in knowing if there's something in particular that brings you to my journal!

Date: 2009-04-03 11:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] everynewmorning.livejournal.com
I had a weird one add me, along with the entirety of the Omaha music scene - the entries were incoherent and cryptic for the most part and I noticed it started posting ads. I think they're robots.

The journals, not Russian people (except for those remnants of Soviet machination, known as Olympic athletes).

Date: 2009-04-04 01:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frandroid.livejournal.com
Most of these actually look like people. There are some empty or entirely private ones, and they don't have a gazillion friends either. Anyway I don't add any of them since they never posted on my entries, so that reduces the impact.

Date: 2009-04-04 08:44 am (UTC)
ext_65558: The one true path (Burj al Arab)
From: [identity profile] dubaiwalla.livejournal.com
Serial adders!

Mine are [livejournal.com profile] kovlplo and [livejournal.com profile] rian_arabic. Although the former has just taken me off his/her/its list for a second time.

Date: 2009-04-04 06:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mrputter.livejournal.com
I'm leaning towards bots, as [livejournal.com profile] everynewmorning hypothesizes. I've got a couple of them as well, and I notice they're all similar in many ways.

- Ones who have added me have almost always added several people on my flist as well. An example being [livejournal.com profile] shaeorn who has both you and me, as well as a couple of other people on my flist who would otherwise have absolutely no connection with each other at all. My suspicion is that a bot might use (subsets of) flists to come up with more people to add.

- These accounts almost always have 30 or fewer posts, all of which are always friend-locked. Which is... fine. Flocking isn't uncommon. But it is uncommon not to have one public post up at the top saying "hey, this journal is friends-locked; message me to be added!" or something along those lines. Even Russian journals usually have this, except that none of these do. It's just a pattern that is consistent and slightly strange.

- These are (as [livejournal.com profile] dubaiwalla notes) serial (and frequent) adders-and-removers (the nerd in me wants to insert some joke about half-adders here, but anyway). I note that in the last hour or so, the abovementioned Shaeorn has removed me, but [livejournal.com profile] muzmio has added me, along with you, and a couple of other unrelated people on my flist. I suspect it will be gone in a few more hours.

- In addition to between 1 and 30 posts, they all seem to have defined 2 tags, either 1 or 2 userpics, a short bio, and (usually) a birthday with day and month visible, but not a year. But pretty much never anything else. They never make any comments, and rarely receive any (although this latter is admittedly incidental).

- The accounts almost all seem to have been created in late Dec/08 or early Jan/09.

- The text in their posts is usually coherent, but only barely so, and somewhat aimless. My Russian isn't yet good enough to confidently detect whether it's automatically generated (by Markov-chaining or the like) but I'm leaning towards yes. Some journals include images, but often a set of 10 or 20 related images that get cycled around.

Conclusion: gotta be bots.
Open question: why? For testing purposes? Trying to see if they can fly under LJ's anti-spam radar? Information (names/emails/etc.) collection? School project? So far, they don't seem to have made any malicious moves. Just... curious.
Edited Date: 2009-04-04 06:54 pm (UTC)

Date: 2009-04-05 08:01 am (UTC)
ext_65558: The one true path (Errorist)
From: [identity profile] dubaiwalla.livejournal.com
I suspect it will be gone in a few more hours.
Journal BALETED!

Open question: why?
Fun as it would be to speculate about our new(-ish) Russian overlords trying to peek into locked posts, they already have access to the servers. I doubt spam is the reason because I have yet to see one of them try to leave a comment. This also seems like a fairly inefficient way to collect email addresses. Serial adding isn't necessary in order to create sockpuppets who will vote in future LJ polls. So, uh, yeah, I'm mystified too.

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