Facebook bans ‘cloaking’ of spam sites that fool filters

Facebook bans ‘cloaking’ of spam sites that fool filters

By | August 9th, 2017
No Comments on Facebook bans ‘cloaking’ of spam sites that fool filters

“Cloaking” sounds sci-fi, but it’s actually a trick used today by

spammers to show content moderators or search engine spiders an

innocent-looking version of their site while real visitors just see ads and



So today, Facebook is cracking down on cloaking. Facebook ads product director Rob Leathern tells me now when it discovers a site using cloaking, “We’ll deactivate their ad counts, we’ll kick them off, we’ll get rid of their Pages.” Facebook will use both humans and expanded artificial intelligence systems to root out cloakers. However, it’s not publicly disclosing the signals it uses to identify cloaking so it doesn’t tip-off the spammers.

They’re usually bad actors and spammers by definition. So the line is if anyone does this in any way, shape, or form, we want them off the platform.” Here, Facebook is merely seeking out cloaking, rather than passing judgement on site content.

The change comes as part of a multi-pronged attack on hoaxes, clickbait, spam and low-quality sites following criticism that Facebook didn’t prevent fake news from influencing the 2016 presidential election. By cutting off traffic to spam sites, Facebook can choke out the financial lifeblood of bad actors spreading misinformation for profit or political motives.


Nisheeth Bhakuni