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The Ghosts of Facebook 

May 06, 2010 06:02 PM

I do not believe that Chong Loris exists. No picture of her appears to exist. A Google search of her name returns no results. She says she’s a student at Jacksonville U. but they have no record of her. She is like a ghost. And yet, she has 562 friends on Facebook.
I’ve asked her to be my friend. I sent a nice invitation to her, but have heard nothing back. No answer. And yet every day she adds more friends. It appears to be a one-way street. She may pick you to be her friend. But don’t ask her. You’ll never hear from her.
Once you become a friend you don’t hear from her either. She posts nothing to her Wall. Isn’t interested in games. Only shares basic information about herself. In fact, some of her friends have become suspicious. One accused her of being a spammer. Shortly after that accusation a picture of her appeared with a caption that said, “It’s me.” Now she’s up to 634 friends.
The picture hasn’t seemed to make much of a difference; many Jacksonville U. alumni remain pretty suspicious of the account. They tell me they’ve seen a few other “phony” accounts purporting to be students of Jacksonville U. trying to become their friends. With 634 friends, there are a lot of people not at all suspicious of Chong Loris. Or, just willing to befriend anyone because they have something in common (i.e. school). Some post to her wall, asking how she knows them. She doesn’t answer.
I personally don’t know what’s up. Spammers and malware peddlers usually hit and run on Facebook. They steal access to an account and spread their trash around until they get shut down. They rarely show any patience to build a phony account and compile a large number of friends. Why work that hard when you can buy an existing account on the underground economy for pennies? These accounts come with lots of friends.
So, what is Chong Loris up to? Well, it’s certainly possible that she does exist. There is nothing wrong with getting as many friends as you can on Facebook. Nobody says you have to post on your wall. And there is no law against rejecting me as a friend. Many people think that’s just good policy. So I don’t want to start a witch hunt. She, or the bot that has created her, has done nothing wrong. Maybe she really does exist. She now has 670 friends. If you know Chong Loris—that is really know her, being a Facebook friend doesn’t count—then let me know.

Post your thoughts on Facebook ghosts to the Symantec Facebook account. And Chong, if by some small chance you are reading this, be my friend and all will be forgiven.

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