If you were asked to think of 3 different things that Facebook has – more than once – vowed to remove from their platform, you would be completely correct if you said fake news, clickbait headlines and scams.
All 3 have proliferated on Facebook for a number of years, and the social networking website has many times asserted they are working on ways to rid them from their site once and for all.
But it doesn’t look like Facebook are winning. It doesn’t even appear as if they’re trying particularly hard either. For example, take a look at a recent surge of sponsored posts that we’ve noticed that actually incorporate all 3 of them… (if you didn’t know, sponsored posts are those posts that Facebook automatically places on your newsfeed and are not from your friends or pages you follow.)
It’s not particularly hard to determine that the headline of this post above is the usual clickbait we have come to expect from your typical “designed to go viral” type website. Clickbait, check!
Clicking on the link leads the visitor to an article about how a man discovered a “secret” cash making system while at the pub that sparked a spontaneous trip to Ibiza. That’s not true (the real story was covered by mainstream media and no “secret cash making system” was involved at all.) Fake news, check!
Clicking on the link on that article then leads the visitor to another page that claims to have the secrets of getting rich online for free. That turns out to be a Binary Options trading scam where visitors have to wager around $200 which they’ll almost certainly wind up losing, to the scammers profit. Scam, check!
Another similar post from the same page can be seen below.
This post also incorporates a clickbaity headline, a fake story about how a man discovered a get-rich-quick system right after his girlfriend broke up with him and then leads visitors to the same Binary Options get-rich-quick scam.
Both posts have remained for a number of days despite being reported a number of times.
We’ve pointed out before that those “sponsored” posts you see on your newsfeed could very likely be scams. In the past we’ve seen such posts leading to nutritional scams, supplement subscription scams and a variety of different get-rich-quick scams.
Now such sponsored posts are incorporated scams, clickbait and fake news. It’s bad enough that this content manages to stay on Facebook at all, but these posts are actually coming up as sponsored posts that are “force-fed” to Facebook users.
Time and time again we hear from our own readers that despite reporting such content, Facebook rejects any concerns claiming that the content “doesn’t violate Facebook’s terms of service”. If Facebook are ever going to get a handle on all this nonsense that spreads across their site, they’re going to have to try a lot harder. Because at the moment it seems like the problems are just getting worse.