January 17, 2022
facebook bans cloaking spam sites

Facebook is Doing This to Sites that Use Cloaking

Facebook bans cloaking, a widespread practice spam sites use to deceive search engine and social media algorithmic filters…

Starting today, Facebook will crack down on sites which use cloaking. The company states it is working hard to fight the spread of misinformation and fraudsters who rely on misleading its users.

Facebook Bans Spam Sites using Deceptive Filter Cloaking Practices

Facebook states users expect to see ads and posts which match their expectations. Cloaking is a digital trick, mostly used by spam sites to fool quality filters run by search engines and social media platforms.

The social network explains in its announcement cloaked sites, “…set up web pages so that when a Facebook reviewer clicks a link to check whether it’s consistent with our 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.”

Facebook cloaking ban
Credit: Facebook

Facebook says the penalties for sites using cloaking are account deactivation and/or Page shut down. The social network will use a combination of humans and expanded artificial intelligence to identify and root out cloakers. But, Facebook isn’t publicly disclosing which specific signals it’s employing in an effort to avoid tipping off fraudulent sites.

This latest effort is part of a larger, ongoing campaign to improve UX or user experience on Facebook. In May, the company updated its News Feed algorithm to reduce clickbait. Earlier this month, Facebook announced it uses machine learning bots to combat fake news.

“Since cloaking exists across many of today’s digital platforms, we will also be collaborating closely with other companies in the industry to find new ways to combat it and punish bad actors.”

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