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4/14/2017 4:10 pm  #1

Disrupting a major spam operation

Disrupting a major spam operation

We previously announced that we have made new advances in order to detect fake accounts on Facebook more effectively. Improvements in this area make our community stronger for everyone, including advertisers, publishers, and partners.Today we are taking another step to disrupt a spam operation that we have been combating for six months. It is made up of inauthentic likes and comments that appear to come from accounts located in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, and a number of other countries.

We found that most of this activity was generated not through traditional mass account creation methods, but by more sophisticated means that try to mask the fact that the accounts are part of the same coordinated operation. They used tricks to avoid detection, including redirecting their traffic through “proxies” that disguised their location.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.

Our systems were able to identify a large portion of this illegitimate activity – and to remove a substantial number of inauthentic likes. We also received help from our partners, who alerted us to suspicious activity that helped us identify additional accounts that were part of the same campaign. As we remove the rest of the inauthentic likes, we expect that 99% of impacted Pages with more than 10,000 likes will see a drop of less than 3%. None of these likes were the result of paid ads from the affected Pages.By disrupting the campaign now, we expect that we will prevent this network of spammers from reaching its end goal of sending inauthentic material to large numbers of people.

Going forward, the advances we have made to our detection systems will help us recognize these inauthentic likes more quickly, and we will continue updating our systems every day to keep our platform safe.

Facebook Discovers ‘Major Spam Operation,’ USA Today Likes Plummet

 Just hours after the announcement, it appears no major outlet has been affected by the purge more than USA Today.The newspaper has already lost well over a million followers from its primary Facebook page, as of Friday afternoon.

According to data from CrowdTangle, USA Today had 15.2 million likes Thursday and has dropped to 13.8 million at the time this article was first published Friday afternoon — a drop of 10.14 percent. At that time, followers continued to drop from USA Today’s page at a blistering pace, with thousands of followers disappearing every minute.

Last edited by Common Sense (4/14/2017 4:12 pm)

 “We hold these truths to be self-evident,”  former vice president Biden said during a campaign event in Texas on Monday. "All men and women created by — you know, you know, the thing.”


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