Facebook bans “cloaking” of spam sites that fool filters

TechCrunch | 8/9/2017 | Josh Constine
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“Cloaking” sounds sci-fi but it’s actually a trick used today by spammers to show content moderators or search engine spiders an innocent looking version of their site while real visitors just see ads and scams. For example, some spammers try to fool Facebook’s review team and tech by showing any of its staffers’ IP addresses a benign landing page for links or ads, while everyone else sees diet pill scams or porn that violate Facebook’s community standards and ad policies.

So today, Facebook is cracking down on cloaking. Facebook ads product director Rob Leathern tells me now when it discovers a site using cloaking, “We’ll deactivate their ad counts, we’ll kick them off, we’ll get rid of their Pages.” Facebook will use both humans and expanded artificial intelligence systems to root out cloakers. However, it’s not publicly disclosing the signals it uses to identify cloaking so it doesn’t tip off the spammers.

Businesses - Impact - Use - Case - Leathern

Innocent businesses should see no impact. Since “There’s no legitimate use case for cloaking” Leathern says, “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 any one does this in any way, shape,...
(Excerpt) Read more at: TechCrunch
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