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Mafia Wars CEO Brags About Scamming Users 251

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-about-the-benjamins dept.
jamie writes with a follow-up to our recent discussion of social gaming scams: "Mark Pincus, CEO of the company that brought us Mafia Wars, says: 'I did every horrible thing in the book just to get revenues right away. I mean, we gave our users poker chips if they downloaded this Zwinky toolbar, which was like, I don't know... I downloaded it once and couldn't get rid of it.'" TechCrunch also ran a interesting tell-all from the CEO of a company specializing in Facebook advertisements, who provided some details on similarly shady operations at the popular social networking site.
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Mafia Wars CEO Brags About Scamming Users

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 12, 2009 @06:10AM (#30070712)

    I read about a research a while ago (years, sorry no source) that states that acquiring large sums of money creates the same kind of euphoria as for instance using cocaine as it causes the same neurotransmitters to be produced in the brain. Irrational need for more and more money is a real addiction I think and should be treated as such.

    That's because any positive thing happening to you releases those neurotransmitters, which is exactly why cocaine makes you feel good. That one person who you don't even know is rich did something you don't like does not imply that all people with a lot of money are evil. That you infer that just shows that you already believe rich people to be evil, and you see this as an opportunity to reinforce your previous belief, never mind that this doesn't actually constitute any sort of basis to believe what you do. Don't feel too bad - this is a common thing for humans to do.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 12, 2009 @07:01AM (#30070916)

    I have a scratch account on Facebook with only 1 friend, my real account. I use it for trying some apps because it has no valuable information. I can use privacy settings on my real account to prevent it seeing that.

    Still, its page has sections that look like the normal Facebook UI but say things like "4 of your friends have sent you ......". The account only has 1 friend, so this is a banner ad dressed up to look like part of the UI.

    Facebook should surely not allow this!

    There are some people out there for whom you'd hope that some form of Karma applies, even if it is that by being untrustworthy themselves people around them start treating them as such. Sad to say and all that.

  • by Corporate Troll (537873) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @08:48AM (#30071286) Homepage Journal
    Exactly. However, people like you and me are not the ones who are targetted. It's kids who play it and don't have (yet) the self-restraint and knowledge to avoid those scams. Of course, it's the parents who will have to fit the bill.
  • by SQLGuru (980662) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @09:13AM (#30071450) Journal

    But most of the games require you to have a certain number of "crew" to unlock certain parts of the game.....so you just need to friend other "Saturday Night Slashdot Special" accounts (at least 501 so you can max your Mafia) and go from there.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 12, 2009 @09:30AM (#30071584)

    Their application API must be like a spammer's wet dream.

    Certainly sounds like it from this blog post [pjf.id.au] at least... I wouldn't be surprised at all if there were many more (ab)uses like this lurking in other parts of the API.

  • by ChefInnocent (667809) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @10:52AM (#30072576)
    For that you can sign up a bunch of people who want to be your "friend". I don't know about Mafia Wars, but I know Mobsters has a board for finding Mobster friends. This allows you to get the crew you need and not infect your real friends. It's like sleeping with a prostitute using someone elses junk.
  • Facebook Purity FTW (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Psychopath (18031) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @11:50AM (#30073460) Homepage

    If you are using Firefox, Safari, Opera or Chrome, get Greasemonkey and install the Facebook Purity script (http://steeev.freehostia.com/wp/2009/03/19/facebook_purity_cleans_up_the_facebook_homepage/).

    It blocks Mafia Wars, Farmville, quizzes and more. Basically you just see stuff your friends actually write.

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