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How Modestep "fraped" thousands of people

Client - Modestep, by way ofUnited Agency

Project - Modestep Evolution Theory “Virus”


"I bought the album because of this!" - Facebook fan\
"this is the best thing i have seen all year" - Twitter user\
Lots of Facebook accounts were “compromised”\
Many twitter accounts were “compromised”\
More than expected visited the campaign site as a result of the “virus”.

What they wanted

Modestep launched their new album, Evolution Theory, on Monday 11th
February. To promote their new album they wanted to do some kind of
Facebook takeover. They wanted to spread a “virus”.

What we made

In order to Facebook “rape” the public, we needed the public to let us.
We came up with a simple method. The general public are more than happy
to provide access to their accounts in return for something they deem

We let people download a free song from Modestep, as long as they signed
in via either their Twitter account or Facebook account. What they
didn’t realise is that this meant we now had all the access we would

Then on launch day, unbeknownst to the awaiting “victims” our app then
auto posted a message on all the “compromised” accounts.


With the message was a link to a sitesetup by
, this was to show a “Blue
Screen of Death” informing the “victim” that they were now “infected
with the Modestep virus”.

To allow the video to go fullscreen our “app” had to receive user input
via a click. So we had to set up a way to convince the user to click on

In the end a fake “dating” ad was displayed over the top of a login
screen for Facebook or Twitter dependent on the source.

Once the user clicked anywhere on the screen a “blue screen of death”
occured with the video. At the end of the video “victims” were then
taken to the Modestep site where they could then purchase the album.

What worked?

  • As we expected, people were more than happy to hand over there privileges.
  • Not many people were unhappy with the “violation”, some were. Less than expected.
  • Twitter spam detection was inexistent.

What didn’t work?

  • Facebook blocked us after 1000 posts.
  • Facebook then asked people if it looked like “spam”. Due to it being a dodge dating ad, yes, it did look like “spam”.
  • Facebook was quick to delete the posts. Eventually though we did get around 5000 visits through from facebook.
  • From the first autopost after free download, a high number of people deleted the post straight away. a HIGH number.

What would be different next time?

  • Different catch page, perhaps “download the album for free, click here”
  • Multiple links for Facebook posts.
  • Different auto post text, make it look less like spam (upper caps).

People, should be more careful about their write permissions, you have no idea who you are giving access to.

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