Facebook

Facebook's 'troll hunter' tool will let you catch frauds on the social network

Facebook’s ‘troll hunter’ tool will let you catch frauds on the social network

  • Facebook is currently testing three new safety features around the world
  • One notifies users if someone is impersonating their account
  • It analyses account names and profile pictures to find matches
  • Another tool is for reporting nude photos and one more for photo safety

Sarah Griffiths for MailOnline

From offensive comments and sharing inappropriate photos to fake accounts, online harassment can take many painful forms.

Now Facebook has developed a tool that can notify users if someone is impersonating their account on the social network.

It does this by analysing account names and profile pictures, before sending an automated alert to a user if a match is made.

Facebook has developed a tool that can notify users (stock image pictured) if someone is impersonating their account. It does this by analysing account names and profile pictures, before sending an automated alert to a user if a match is made

Facebook has developed a tool that can notify users (stock image pictured) if someone is impersonating their account. It does this by analysing account names and profile pictures, before sending an automated alert to a user if a match is made

The user would then be asked to check whether a profile is deliberately impersonating them, perhaps in a derogatory or trouble-making way – in which case the offending account could be shut down. 

Alternatively, the account may simply belong to a doppelganger.

The feature exploits the social network’s facial recognition technology which is used in photo sharing app ‘Moments’ in some parts of the world.

Facebook began testing the feature in November and it has now been rolled out to 75 per cent of users, Antigone Davis, Facebook’s Head of Global Safety told Mashable

The new 'troll hunting' feature exploits the social network’s facial recognition technology which is used in ‘Moments’ in some parts of the world. A stock image of the Facebook logo reflected in an eye is shown

The new ‘troll hunting’ feature exploits the social network’s facial recognition technology which is used in ‘Moments’ in some parts of the world. A stock image of the Facebook logo reflected in an eye is shown

Impersonation isn’t a huge problem for Facebook users, but it’s been shown to be a source of harassment and also breaches the social network’s ‘names’ policy, which insists users show their true identity.

Ms Davis said impersonation is ‘a real point of concern for some women in certain regions of the world where it may have certain cultural or social ramifications.’

Facebook is also testing a feature designed to show new users how secure their photos are. It's available in India. A picture of Mark Zuckerberg is shown

Facebook is also testing a feature designed to show new users how secure their photos are. It’s available in India. A picture of Mark Zuckerberg is shown

She said the alerts are part of Facebook’s wider efforts to make women feel safe on the network, with ideas generated by roundtables with users, NGOs and activists concerned about safety and privacy.

The social network is also testing two more safety features – a new way of reporting non-consensual nude images and another photo feature to check the security of photos.

The sharing of nude pictures is banned on the platform, but the aim of the feature is to make reporting them easier for victims, according to Ms Davis.

The new tool allow users to report inappropriate photos as well as identify themselves as the subject of a picture.

It then supplies victims with links to helpful resources such as information about legal options and support groups, as well as starting the process to have an image removed.

While initial testing has gone well, Ms Davis said more is needed before the tool is rolled out widely.

Facebook is also testing a feature designed to show people how secure their photos are and who they can be seen by.

While this may be obvious to long-time users of the social network, the photo tool is mainly designed for new users who are not familiar with Facebook’s privacy settings.

For this reason, the ‘photo checkup’ tool has first been rolled out in India, countries in South America, Africa and Southeast Asia where Facebook has become popular more recently. 

THE QUICK WAY TO CHECK YOUR FRIEND REQUESTS 

There is a quick and simple way to check your pending requests, and find out whether anyone has been ignoring your attempts to become their online friend.

To find the people who have ignored you, log in to Facebook on a desktop and tap the Friend Request icon in the top right-hand of the banner.

This will load a drop-down menu populated with all of your recent friend requests and people Facebook thinks you might know.

If you've ever received a friend request on Facebook and decided to ignore it, thinking whoever sent you it won't be able to tell, think again. There is now a quick and simple way to check pending requests, and find out whether anyone has been ignoring your attempts to become their online friend

If you’ve ever received a friend request on Facebook and decided to ignore it, thinking whoever sent you it won’t be able to tell, think again. There is now a quick and simple way to check pending requests, and find out whether anyone has been ignoring your attempts to become their online friend

From here you can chose to accept or ignore any requests you have been sent from other people.

But to see the requests that you’ve sent – and that have been ignored – hit the View All text underneath the list of pending requests.

This will take you to a new page on Facebook with the same list of your pending requests and suggested friends.

At the top there will now be a View Sent Requests option. Clicking on this option will display the requests you sent that have been ignored.