By Rob Leathern, Product Management Director and Bobbie Chang, Software Engineer
We are always working to combat the spread of misinformation and the financially-motivated bad actors who create misleading experiences for people. Today we’re sharing additional steps we’ve taken to remove even more of them from Facebook, 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 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.
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. Over the past few months we have been ramping up our enforcement across ads, posts and Pages, and have strengthened our policies to explicitly call out this practice. We will ban advertisers or Pages found to be cloaking from the platform.
How We Identify Cloaking
We are utilizing artificial intelligence and have expanded our human review processes to help us identify, capture, and verify cloaking. We can now 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 us taking down thousands of these offenders and disrupting their economic incentives for misleading people.
How Will This Impact My Page?
We see cloaking as deliberate and deceptive, and will not tolerate it on Facebook. We will remove Pages that engage in cloaking. Otherwise Pages should not see changes to their referral traffic.