May 31, 2020
Facebook 2FA

Facebook Resorts to Spamming Users to Up Engagement

The Facebook 2FA system seems to trigger a profile status update auto-posting response, which might just be a bug or a coercive nudge to boost engagement…

Here’s another bit of evidence that Facebook context collapse is a really big problem on the social network. And, it comes from a bizarre instance.

Software engineer Gabriel Lewis registered for 2FA or two-factor authentication and then disabled mobile notifications. (2FA offers more protection as it requires two separate confirmations to log into a platform.) But, that didn’t stop Facebook from sending him updates about his friends’ activity via text message.

Facebook 2FA Triggers Auto-Posting

Lewis states he had not allowed mobile notifications when he signed up for two-factor authentication. However, he still received notification on his phone about friends’ posts. Worse yet, when he attempted to put a stop to it, by replying, Facebook posted his plea to his wall. Here’s a screenshot:


This isn’t an isolated incident, either. The Verge confirmed this occurs if users reply to any Facebook 2FA text. What’s more, other users on Twitter report the same behavior for not only Facebook, but its subsidiary, Instagram.

That’s not all. The plot thickens because Facebook is currently fighting a legal battle over allegations it violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The TCPA prohibits companies from contacting consumers without first obtaining expression permission. Those allegations assert Facebook used text messages to send out birthday reminders, along with other types of automated spam. And, it did this even in instances where users opted out of text notifications.

Facebook denies the practice but many Twitter users see it as an intentional act to increase engagement metrics.

“We give people control over their notifications, including those that relate to security features like two-factor authentication. We’re looking into this situation to see if there’s more we can do to help people manage their communications. Also, people who sign up for two-factor authentication using a U2F security key and code generator do not need to register a phone number with Facebook,” the company wrote in a statement.

Facebook faces a serious conundrum at this time. The company is losing users as it continues to make changes to the News Feed. Furthermore, users are posting less original content. The social network is attempting to reverse that trend with a series of new features. These include the now familiar colored backgrounds, an odd “Did You Know” Q&A, and most recently, Facebook Lists

Owen E. Richason IV

Covers social media, apps, search and like news. History buff, movie and theme park lover. Blessed dad and husband. Owen is also a musician and is the founder of Groove Modes.          

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