We take a look at those claims that purport to allow Facebook users to see which of their friends have visited their profiles so they can see who “checks up” or “stalks” them the most.
The opportunity to see who has been checking up on your Facebook timeline may sound like an appealing prospect to many of the social networks 1 billion plus users.
And there is no shortage of people claiming that they can provide that information. Facebook is often swamped with messages, links and posts purporting to offer you the chance to see who checks on (or “stalks”) your Facebook profile, and how often.
But is that really possible?
The answer is no. While Facebook does keep track on much of our browsing history via a number of different methods, it does not provide any of its user with information on how many times another user has visited their Facebook profile.
So if you see a claim purporting to offer you the chance to see how many times your friends (or non-friends) visit your profile – or the chance to see your “top stalkers” – then it’s simple – it is a lie.
With that out of the way, the next question is why do these links exist? Why are you being offered the chance to acquire this information when it cannot be acquired?
Over the years, a number of different hoaxes or scams on Facebook have used this kind of information as bait to lure users. Most popularly, these types of scams will appear as a link on your newsfeed claiming to provide you with the details of those users who visit your Facebook profile the most. Typically they appear to have been posted by a friend. When you click the link, you’re taken to a Facebook app installation page. This is basically a Facebook app (from a third party developer) asking for permission to install itself on your Facebook account.
Facebook apps that purport to give you information on your “top stalkers” will do one of two things – either pick random friends from your Facebook account, or they will measure how much public engagement you have with your friends (comments on posts, likes on posts, shared tag etc.) and whichever friends have the most engagement will be billed as visiting your profile the most, when this is not necessarily the case.
However these apps can do more sinister things, such as forwarding those users who install them to either malware-laden webpages outside of Facebook where users are tricked into downloading harmful files, or users can be taken to spammy marketing webpages designed to harvest their personal information.
Take this spammy Facebook app from 2015, for example, that tried to lure users into completing spammy questionnaires in order to unlock their “top stalkers”, only to find themselves giving their contact information to third party marketing companies. Or more recently in 2016 another rogue Facebook app when viral, posting from peoples accounts, claiming to reveal who is “viewing your profile”.
Some scams purporting to offer information on who visits your Facebook profile may skip out the Facebook app and lead directly to webpages outside of Facebook that – once again – can attempt to either trick you into downloading harmful files onto your computer or by luring you towards marketing websites.
To summarise, no; you can’t see who visits your Facebook profile or how often. This is essentially a ploy by scammers looking to lure Facebook users into installing Facebook apps, downloading harmful files and/or giving their information to spammy marketing webpages.
So don’t fall for them!