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17 Apr 2017

Facebook says it has ended a "coordinated operation" of spammers

Facebook's war against spammers meets with success

Facebook has recently been in news for fake news and spamming which seems to have become rampant on its platform.

Facebook had said that it is working hard to bring an end to these unethical practices and looks like it has made good on its promise.

In a blog, it recently announced that they have finally succeeded in "disrupting a major spam operation."

In context

Facebook's war against spammers meets with success
An elaborately planned out operation


An elaborately planned out operation

Facebook during its investigation found out that these spammers originated from "Bangladesh, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, and a number of other countries" and were engaged in carrying out "inauthentic likes" and comments.

They avoided using traditional mass account creation methods and were redirecting traffic through "proxies" to disguise their location and to hide that they were, in fact, a part of the "same coordinated operation."

Modus operandi

How did they function on the social media platform?

According to Facebook, their modus operandi was to make new friend connections "by liking and interacting primarily with popular publisher Pages."

After establishing themselves, they would start engaging in bulk spamming. In fact according to Facebook, they also found accounts which have not been mobilized yet and were lying dormant after a spree of "likes".

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Apprehending the culprits and clearing up the mess


Apprehending the culprits and clearing up the mess

Facebook along with its partners was able to pick up on this trail of "inauthentic likes" and reverse engineer the effects that they had on the pages.

Facebook is of the opinion that now the operations of this spammers have been completely eradicated and "99% of impacted pages with more than 10,000 likes will see a drop of less than 3%."


Safeguarding users and admins against spammers

Facebook has recently upped its game to tighten the noose on these spammers.

Mostly these practices are carried out by click farms, fake accounts and malware, which are now being tracked via advanced algorithms.

Facebook is also sending notifications to page admins who may have employed these methods to get "inauthentic likes" or have received any "likes" via these methods in their published pages.

High-end security systems are keeping a strong vigil


High-end security systems are keeping a strong vigil

Facebook promises to put an end to these practices and that their "security systems run in the background millions of times per second to help block suspicious activity."

It is also trying to put a lid on the fake information circulating on its social media platform and the improvements they have made, enabled them to take action against over 30,000 fake accounts in France.


Shareholders to ask for Facebook's detailed report on Fake news

A proposal is to be submitted on annual shareholder meeting which if passed, will direct Facebook to submit a detailed report on how fake news is posing threat to democracy and firm's reputation.

According to the notice, "In light of the societal crisis generated by the explosion of fake news and related hate speech, failure to effectively manage this issue creates public policy risk."

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