Porn Bugging Facebook 'Subscribe' Users

Jan 31, 2012 8:00 AM PST

NEW YORK — Some users of Facebook’s public profile “Subscribe” service are complaining that they are being pounded with porn.

According to a New York Daily News report, a number of users, mostly media professionals who took advantage of Facebook’s social media reach, are being hit with explicit messages, photos and spam from around the world.

It's unclear whether the porn stems from other profile users, or clever adult industry campaigns, but the result is causing a stir.

"It was coming at such a high volume — I was seeing messages every few minutes from these random men. For every one or two legitimate comments, I would get 20 from creepy men who would say weird or strange or sexual things," the Travel Channel’s Nisha Chittal told the News.

The Facebook service — launched last September — got Chittal more than 80,000 subscribers on Facebook in less than six months, better than her Twitter follower total of about 5,000.

But the rap among a number of users is that Subscribe is less of a real information tool and more of a hotbed for sexual harassment and nonsense.

"Some of them have really graphic, pornographic profile pictures. I don't want to look at my subscriber list and see porn everywhere,” Chittal said.

A Bloomberg producer, Anne Torres, complained that she was shocked to see her subscriber list. "There are really a lot of explicit photos…It's porn," she said.

Although other journalists and media types think Subscribe is a useful social media tool, worth weeding out and deleting unwanted messages, others think Facebook needs to do a better screening job.

In statement to the News, a Facebook spokesman said, "We take issues like spam and inappropriate comments very seriously, and we are always working to minimize that activity wherever it might occur.

"Our new Subscribe feature is no exception, and we're continuing to evolve the product to ensure people have the best possible experience with it. In addition, people who have opted to get subscribers have the ability to report inappropriate behavior, delete specific comments, and limit comments to friends only or friends of friends. They can also block any subscriber at any time, preventing that subscriber from seeing or engaging with any previous or future updates."

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