Facebook touts better fake account-spotting tech, says it busted major spam ring

  • Facebook announced better fake-account spotting technology
  • Improvements have allowed it to target 30,000 fake accounts in France alone
  • It also announced the bust of a major global spam ring

Making a living off spam in Facebook just got a lot harder after the social media giant’s security team announced better measures aimed at purging fake accounts.

In a blog post, Shabnam Shaik, a technical program manager on Facebook’s Protect and Care Team, said their technology allows recognition of fake accounts by assessing familiar patterns associated with the latter.

“We’ve found that when people represent themselves on Facebook the same way they do in real life, they act responsibly. Fake accounts don’t follow this pattern, and are closely related to the creation and spread of spam,” he said. “We’ve made improvements to recognize these inauthentic accounts more easily by identifying patterns of activity — without assessing the content itself. For example, our systems may detect repeated posting of the same content, or an increase in messages sent.”

According to Shaik, the improved technology allowed them to take account against 30,000 fake accounts in France alone.

“In France, for example, these improvements have enabled us to take action against over 30,000 fake accounts. While these most recent improvements will not result in the removal of every fake account, we are dedicated to continually improving our effectiveness. Our priority, of course is to remove the accounts with the largest footprint, with a high amount of activity and a broad reach,” he explained.

Shaik added that they were also able to bust a major worldwide spam ring which targeted publishers’ pages.

“The apparent intent of the campaign was to deceptively gain new friend connections by liking and interacting primarily with popular publisher Pages on our platform, after which point they would send spam. We observed that the bulk of these accounts became dormant after liking a number of Pages, suggesting they had not been mobilized yet to actually make connections and send spam to those people,” he said.

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