There are many tricks that Facebook scammers use to avoid being detected by the company. Facebook vowed this week to crack down on one such practice, called “cloaking,” that allows malicious publishers to hide the true nature of their content.
Fraudulent marketers will often show Facebook a different, clean version of their pages right off the bat to gain the site’s approval. Then, after it’s approved, they switch it out for their actual spammy content. However, some cloaking methods are even more sophisticated than that. Content can be cloaked on a user-by-user basis, allowing black hat publishers to show Facebook employees a clean page when they click through a link. However, if you or I were to click the same link, we would see the real page.
Facebook says it will use both more human regulators and expanded AI systems to uncover cloakers.
“There’s no legitimate use case for cloaking,” Facebook ads product director Rob Leathern told TechCrunch. “If we find it, it doesn’t really matter who that actor is. They’re usually bad actors and spammers by definition. So the line is if anyone does this in any way, shape, or form, we want them off the platform.”
It’s a small step, but if the site continues making little gains like it, the site will eventually provide a substantially better experience for users.