Facebook often finds itself under fire for not doing enough to combat the spread of fake content and malware on its pages. However, the site announced this week that it has broken up a major spam operation that it’s been fighting for six months.
According to Facebook, the ring of scammers created tons of fake accounts, then targeted publishers’ pages with “likes” and comments. Facebook said it believes the goal of the scam was to collect friends with the fake accounts, then target that friend list with spam. Shabnam Shaik, a technical program manager, said the fake accounts originated in Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh and a number of other countries around the world. He also said the people behind the ring were smart about how they covered their steps.
“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,” Shaik wrote. “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.”
No matter how you feel about Facebook’s ability to keep users safe, it’s always a good thing when the social network makes a bust like this.