We saw an interesting result after our previous article about criminals operating scams in the Facebook Marketplace. While there was no response directly from Facebook, the vehicle-oriented scams we wrote about have largely disappeared.
But there is another situation happening in Facebook Groups. One decent size group is called Marketplace on Facebook. It has over 169,000 members. The event section of this groups is stuffed full of events for gift card giveaways, work-at-home for Amazon “opportunities” and the like. In other words nothing but scams. Here’s an example of a recent one:
The links in these events lead users to a webpage on a throwaway domain that pushes the visitor to sign up immediate or “miss out” on the opportunity.
We reported a few of these scams to Facebook and got the following response:
Thanks for your feedback
Thanks for your report – you did the right thing by letting us know about this. The event was reviewed and though it doesn’t go against one of our specific Community Standards, we understand that the event or something shared on it may still be offensive to you. We want to help you avoid things you don’t want to see on Facebook.
If you think we should look at something specific on this or another event, you can report that exact content (ex: photo) instead of the entire event.
From the list above, you also can block xxxxxxxx directly, or you may be able to unfriend or unfollow them. We recommend visiting the Help Center to learn more about how to control what you see in your News Feed. If you find that a person, group or Page consistently posts things you don’t want to see, you may want to limit how often you see their posts or remove them from your Facebook experience.
We know these options may not apply to every situation, so please let us know if you see something else you think we should take a look at.
Clearly Facebook’s algorithms have decided that posting scam events is okay and it is our problem as viewers. But the real story is that these scams actually do violate Facebook’s Community Standards:
We want to make sure the content people see on Facebook is authentic. We believe that authenticity creates a better environment for sharing, and that’s why we don’t want people using Facebook to misrepresent who they are or what they’re doing.
We’re committed to protecting personal privacy and information. Privacy gives people the freedom to be themselves, choose how and when to share on Facebook and connect more easily.
There is nothing authentic about these posts. And a quick review of the pattern of these fake events shows that they are designed to push people into furnishing private information which could then be used to steal their identities or hack their online accounts.
It is time for Facebook’s algorithms to get the memo and for Facebook to follow its own rules.