Spam bots have had a major role in the demise of many services and the rise of others, for example the last days of Myspace dominance as a social network were filled with user complaints due to the amount of bots, befriending & messaging ordinary users. Facebook was able to quickly win myspace users, simply because the later were fed up with spam and bots, something that Facebook knew how to handle.
Comment spamming is another example of why most blogs and sites prefer to turn off the comment section, and were more than willing to implement 3rd party commenting systems like facebook comments, disqus or lifewire..
Forums have also been heavily hit by spam, leading in many cases the owners to decide to take their forums offline or switch to better continually updated forum software.
For a while, you might think, this spam is making the internet better, it’s like an evolution factor, pushing the services and software to be better and better!
Well, you’re wrong, this spam is consisted of bots, lots and lots of them, these bots currently account for more than 50% of website traffic, that’s right, as of 2014, 56% of internet traffic is bot traffic!! That means bots are consuming more than 56% of the internet bandwith, bots probably consist more than 60% of your website visitors, almost half the bots are search engines bots (27% of traffic), the other half (29%) are scrappers (3%), impersonators (22%), spammers (0.5%) and hacking tools (3.5%)!
These bots are used for everything, from stealing your website data, to spamming your analytics data to get sales. To get an idea on how bad these things are, a friend of mine had to remove an image gallery because a bot was downloading every single day the entire gallery and causing 2GB of transfer, this friend would have all his websites blocked on a shared hosting because he surpassed the bandwidth quota, a quota that was 1000000% more than the real usage! In another example, some on site chatting apps have been rendered completely useless due to the high amount of analytic spam bots!!!
Bots are also used to create email accounts, rendering the process of opening a simple email account requires a phone number!!!
Social networks did not simply escape the bots waves, it is believed that there are millions of fake twitter, facebook, instagram accounts …in 2014, Facebook decided to weed out instagram fake/bot users, and the results were shocking!!! The top 100 instagram users lost on average 671 789 followers each, that’s 7.6653%, some losing 15% of their followers like Justin bieber ….
Below report shows the situation of spam bots for the years 2014 and 2015: