Facebook Messenger Launches New Feature to Fight Scams and Fake Friends

Facebook on Thursday unveiled a new safety feature for its Messenger. The goal of this feature is to minimize the number nasty groups looking to scam users. With the help of AI, the feature will scan Facebook accounts for suspicious actions.

With this, Facebook has made clear it will not abandon end to end encryption, and without weakening user’s privacy protection, it can detect abuse and curb it.

What’s the new update?

The new update adds certain unique features to Messenger using which users will receive warning messages when a message appears from a financial scammer or suspected child abuser.

In March the feature started to roll out for Android, and now the company is bringing it to iOS.

For minors (below the age of 18), when an unknown person will send a message, Facebook will show warning messages. This message will alert minors and make them cautious when they interact with adults whom they don’t know.

This feature arrives after the increase in fake friend requests was noticed due to a change in the service algorithm.

How does Facebook detect suspicious communication?

The feature is a great initiative but looking at Facebook’s history, trusting the company becomes difficult. For some, including me, this raises an eye of suspicion and questions like how will Facebook detect these messages? Will it collect data? All these security questions come to mind.

Facebook detect suspicious communication
Img: Facebook

The answer to all this is Machine Learning. Facebook will use machine learning analysis across Facebook Messenger to skim people with wrongful intentions. In simple words, Facebook will detect these activities based on metadata – not by analyzing the content of the message. This means the end to end encryption that Facebook Messenger offers remains intact.

An image showing impersonator and real friend’s profile side by side, telling to block the scammer.

What happens when suspicious activity is detected?

The app will show a chat window explaining the issue thereby giving options to block or ignore the fake user.happening when suspicious activity is detected

What does the feature aim at?

The feature aims to cut down on scammers and guard youngsters from being bullied online by adults posing to be their well-wisher or friends. The new update will restrict interactions between adult and minors who aren’t friends or connected with one another on the platform.

The new update is in line with Facebook’s effort to protect users from scammers and fake accounts. Also, end to end encryption on the platform will be kept intact and minors the most vulnerable of all will be safeguarded from being a victim to online crimes.

What are your thoughts? Please share it with us in the comments section.

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