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Facebook cracks down on click fraud

01 Sep 2012
Faecbook website frontpage

Facebook is looking to crack down on scammers who use malware and fraud to generate phony "Like" votes.

The company said that it increase its use of automated tools which can detect and remove fraudulent "Likes". The effort will included the use of updated security components which can better identify suspect behaviour.

"On average, less than one per cent of Likes on any given page will be removed, providing they and their affiliates have been abiding by our terms," the company said.

"These newly improved automated efforts will remove those Likes gained by malware, compromised accounts, deceived users, or purchased bulk Likes."

The use of fraudulent Likes, or "Like-jacking" has become a popular method for scammers and malware writers to spread their attacks and divert users to advertising or malware-serving sites, as well as advertising affiliate pages.

Just as a click-jacking attacks trick users into visiting a page and artificially inflating traffic numbers, automated Like operations can artificially inflate the perceived popularity of a page or company, allowing the attacker to collect a higher affiliate rate from an advertiser.

Facebook noted that any effort to buy, sell, or otherwise artificially generate "Like" activity on the site is a violation of its terms and conditions.

"These improvements to our site integrity systems benefit both users and brands alike," the company said.

"Users will continue to connect to the Pages and Profiles they authentically want to subscribe to, and Pages will have a more accurate measurement of fan count and demographics."

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Shaun Nichols
About

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for V3.co.uk. He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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