Late last week, Facebook filed a lawsuit against 25 typosquatters over domain names that are typographical variations of Facebook.com.
Last summer FairWinds found that over 48 million visitors per year are diverted away from Facebook by typo domain names. In the lawsuit, Facebook contends that the “defendants’ schemes…diminish the goodwill associated with Facebook and its marks, injure Facebook’s reputation, breach enforceable agreements between Defendants and Facebook, interfere with Facebook’s business, and unjustly enrich Defendants”.
In a study that we are currently conducting, we are researching the prevalence of survey scams on typo variations of social network domain names. Some of the most common typo or keystroke mistakes that Internet users make lead to surveys promising prizes like iPads or gift certificates in exchange for answering questions. Unfortunately, these surveys systematically steal users’ personal information and, unsurprisingly, no prizes are distributed. This is plaguing the most popular social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. We will be releasing the study later this month, so check back with us.