The people on Facebook who tell you how their friend made $85,000 a year working from home are doing quite well for themselves. The Guardian reports that a team of researchers in Italy estimated that Facebook spam generates around $202 million a year in annual revenue and that spammers get paid between $13 to $58 per post depending on the number of subscribers a particular page has. While many of us find Facebook spammers annoying, the spammers themselves actually told the researchers that Facebook tolerates their presence because they generate more hits for Facebook pages.
“Facebook doesn’t ban us, simply because we generate the content on Facebook itself,” one spammer explained. “Everyday I materialize funny, and interesting content full of phrases and so forth that is shared and liked by thousands of users. Without the fan pages Facebook would be an empty place. Tell me how many links do you see shared by your friends on your timeline everyday? You see — the answer is simple.”
Facebook, of course, denies that it tolerates spammers and says that it’s always working on new ways to limit the amount of spam posted onto fan pages.
“Protecting the people who use Facebook is a top priority for us, and we have developed a number of automated systems to identify potentially harmful links and stop them from spreading,” a company spokesperson told The Guardian. “Those systems quickly spotted these links, and we are working to clear them from the site now… We will keep improving our systems to ensure that people continue to have a safe experience on Facebook.”