Facebook Cracking Down On Scammy Ads Disguised As Legit Businesses

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Fraudsters have no shortage of tricks and sleights of hand to make themselves look like a legit business venture. In an effort to root out these scammers, Facebook is rolling out new tools designed to detect when companies disguise their ads as innocent or benign for moderators, but real users see spam. 

What Is Cloaking?

This activity, known as cloaking, is used by spammers to get around a site’s moderators in order to shill their actual products and services — like diet pills or pornography — to users of the site.

To do so, the spammer would disguise the true destination of an ad or post, or the real content of the destination page, in order to bypass the social media company’s review processes. When a moderator clicks on this ad or link, they are taken to a different page than when someone else clicks on the link.

Facebook’s Changes

Facebook announced today that it is collaborating with other companies to stop and find new ways to combat cloaking.

“Over the past few months we have been ramping up our enforcement across ads, posts and Pages, and have strengthened our policies to explicitly call out this practice,” the company said in a statement. “We will ban advertisers or Pages found to be cloaking from the platform.”

The company says that it is now using artificial intelligence and expanded human review processes to help identify cloaking.

Since implementing the new tools, Facebook says it has taken down thousands of offenders.

“We see cloaking as deliberate and deceptive, and will not tolerate it on Facebook,” the company said.

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