Campus official uncovers phony Facebook college class groups

CNET reports on what might be the latest frontier of viral marketing: fake students starting Facebook groups for the incoming college class of 2013 in the name of data collection. Brad Ward, a recruitment specialist at Butler University, outlined the details on his blog, CNET says. He became suspicious after talking to a colleague at Winthrop University. Here are the common links: Class of 2013 groups are being started at several universities. The people that start the groups aren’t registered at those schools. And those same names–Patrick Kelly, Justin Gaither, and James Gaither, among others–pop up repeatedly. The game: Get admin rights to groups that collectively add up to about a million freshmen. "The solution here seems pretty obvious," says CNET blogger Larry Dignan. "Universities need to start their official groups on Facebook before some spam-happy affiliate marketing type does. There [might] also be a verification hook for Facebook, too: Should it verify who you really are?"

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