Facebook Security has released a video informing the social network's users about malware that displays unwanted ads on the service. The company captioned the video as follows:
Is your profile or News Feed covered in ads? If yes, you might have adware. Watch this video to learn how to remove these programs from your computer and cleanup your account.
This is a rare move from Facebook's security team. The last post from Facebook Security, which described how the site's link shim works, was made almost two months ago. The only other video the group has posted was in January 2011: Using Advanced Security Features.
I'm not surprised that Facebook posted a video; it's more so the content that I find interesting. The official Facebook Page for Facebook Security has 5.9 million Likes, but almost all of the posts detail Facebook's security features and Facebook's moves in the industry towards improving the service's security and privacy.
I have no problem with this (in fact I commend it) but I would like to see Facebook Security use its Page more often to warn users about current threats. There should be posts weekly, or even more often, describing current scams and malware spreading on the social network, how to avoid them, and so on.
If that's not positive enough for Facebook, the company should instead post statistics on what scams it has removed this week, what they were called, and so on. Facebook is already transparent with third-party developers about bug fixes it makes and forum activity on Stack Overflow, so why not also have something relevant for users?
I have contacted Facebook to see if this video is part of a new trend to help users experiencing security issues on the social network, or if it's just a one-time thing.
Update at 2:30 PM PST: Facebook declined to comment on my thoughts above, but it did have more to say on adware.
"These programs claim to give users special privileges on Facebook, but obscure your profile and News Feed with ads that are not Facebook approved," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "In fact, over 90% of the ad complaints we receive on a daily basis are related to adware programs and the ads they display. These programs materially alter people's Facebook experience and bypass Facebook's quality and security controls. Additionally, adware programs make Facebook slower, cause user confusion and can obfuscate authenticate user content by displaying banner ads. To ensure the best possible experience for all our users and to maintain the integrity of Facebook's product we have asked users to remove these adware products from their browsers before returning to Facebook."
- Facebook virus or account hacked? Here's how to fix it.
- Facebook releases official Guide to Facebook Security
- Experts: Facebook crime is on the rise
- Sex sells: Men fall for Facebook scams more than women
- Facebook admits it needs to fight scams more efficiently
- Facebook Immune System checks 25 billion actions every day