Facebook Will Soon Alert You If Trolls or Impersonators Sneak into Your Messenger

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Jul 11
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Facebook and Twitter have remained at the center of misinformation and scam campaigns. With lawmakers pushing the social networking companies to clean up their platforms, Facebook is testing a new feature that will alert you if you have received a message from a troll.

This upcoming Facebook Messenger feature is being designed to deal with unsolicited messages coming from fake accounts, as the company aims to offer more details to the recipient of a message that is being sent out of their usual network of friends.

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“We are testing a new feature that provides people with more context on someone they may not have previously connected with in Messenger,” Facebook’s Dalya Browne confirmed after a report by Motherboard. “This context will allow them to make a more informed decision about whether or not they’d like to message that individual.”

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This warning will inform Facebook users about the sender’s origin country and whether they are using a known contact’s name but are residing in a different country that could potentially indicate an impersonating account.

In a screenshot obtained by Motherboard, the alert reads that the person sending a message logged into Messenger using a phone number from Russia and the account was recently created. It also warned that the user is different from the recipient’s Facebook friend with the same name. Here’s what this warning looks like; the name and profile pictures have been redacted:

This little bit of added information could help users decide if they are being part of a misinformation campaign or being scammed by someone impersonating a known account. However, it doesn’t mean if this feature will ever make it to the public. The social networking giant said that it is “just a small test.”

Update: In an email to Wccftech, a Facebook spokesperson clarified that the feature is aimed at trolls or impersonating accounts across the board – not just specific to Russia as the above screenshot suggested.

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