Malaysia (8 August 2017) — Facebook is taking additional steps to further combat false information and remove the financially-motivated bad actors who create misleading experiences for people, so that what people see after clicking an ad or post matches their expectations.
Some of the worst offenders use a technique known as ”cloaking” to circumvent Facebook’s review processes and show content to people that violates Facebook’s Community Standards and Advertising Policies.
Here, these bad actors disguise the true destination of an ad or post, or the real content of the destination page, in order to bypass Facebook’s review processes. For example, they will set up web pages so that when a Facebook reviewer clicks a link to check whether it’s consistent with Facebook’s policies, they are taken to a different web page than when someone using the Facebook app clicks that same link. Cloaked destination pages, which frequently include diet pills, pornography and muscle building scams, create negative and disruptive experiences for people.
Since cloaking exists across many of today’s digital platforms, Facebook will also be collaborating closely with other companies in the industry to find new ways to combat it and punish bad actors.
Over the past few months Facebook has been ramping up their enforcement across ads, posts and Pages, and has strengthened their policies to explicitly call out this practice by banning advertisers or Pages found to be cloaking from the platform.
Facebook utilizes artificial intelligence and has expanded their human review processes to help them identify, capture, and verify cloaking. The new system allows Facebook to better observe differences in the type of content served to people using our apps compared to our own internal systems.
In the past few months these new steps have resulted in Facebook taking down thousands of these offenders and disrupting their economic incentives for misleading people.
“We see cloaking as deliberate and deceptive, and will not tolerate it on Facebook. We will remove Pages that engage in cloaking, but otherwise Pages should not see changes to their referral traffic,” said Rob Leathern, Product Management Director, Facebook.