There's a new Facebook comments scam that moderators are finding impossible to stop

Louis Dor
Friday 14 August 2015 13:30
Science and Tech
(Picture: Getty

tl;dr: Scammers are editing hand posted comments to avoid automatic filters.

Facebook comments sections on news websites often include comments linking to spyware and adware. It's a facet of modern day browsing.

For example, some scam comments on articles, predominately those involving popular entertainment topics, have been claiming to offer free access to recently released movies.

We’re sure you’ve seen them, they look something like this:

(Image via Symantec)

And they link to pages which look something like this:

(Image via Symantec)

Or this, if you're on mobile.

(Image via Symantec)

These usually involve persistent pop-ups which say your computer has been infected by malware. They also usually involve a number to call to remove the malware for - you’d never guess - a fee.

Facebook uses automated systems and moderators to identify and blacklist malicious links and comments.

The reason moderators are having a difficult time weeding these out of comment threads is because they are posted to appear genuine at first and are later edited, according to a new report by cybersecurity firm Symantec.

(Image via Symantec)

This is to avoid the automated spam filters and make it more difficult to be detected by Facebook.

A spokesperson for Facebook told BuzzFeed: "We proactively fight against this type of spam and malicious content in our Comments Plugin, just as we do on Facebook.com. We use automated systems and dedicated teams to classify and catch malicious actors, and when we identify spam we enforce against it by banning fake accounts and Pages, blacklisting bad links, and down-ranking spammy content."

In short, this issue seems like it won't be disappearing any time soon, but if you see one - be a good internet Samaritan and flag it for those who may not recognise it as spam.

Now don't click any (obviously) suspect links.

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