News Analysis: Facebook is under attack. The social network, which currently has over 500 million active users, is being targeted by a scam that is spreading across the service.
Many of Facebook's half-billion global users are confronting
an annoying viral scam that raises yet again concerns about how secure people
are when they log on to the addictive social network.
Dubbed the "Dislike Button," the scam asks users to
click on a link, which they believe will show dislike for a status update. Upon
doing so, the user is asked to take a survey, thereby helping the scam's owner
generate some revenue. It also asks them for access to the user's profile, and
upon being given permission, starts sending status updates to all their friends
mentioning the button. The viral scam is something that Facebook said on its
security blog users should stay away from.
Although the Dislike Button scam is yet another in a long line
of security problems affecting the social network, it effectively highlights
some of the issues that users are seeing with Facebook. And although they're
not all as serious as the aforementioned scam, they in some way detract from
the experience of using the social network.
Let's take a look at some of the quirks that should be
addressed by Facebook.
1. A real "dislike" button
Part of the reason why the "Dislike Button" scam has
been so successful is that Facebook won't allow a dislike button on its site.
Currently, if a user views a friend's status update, they can only "like"
it. But for those folks who don't like the update, there isn't an option to "dislike"
it. Maybe it's time Facebook offers that feature. It won't help folks win
popularity contests, but it's something that most users have been waiting a
long time for.
2. Design changes galore
Over the past year, Facebook has made several design tweaks.
And every time the company has done so, the vast majority of Facebook users
have spoken out against them. Over time, the complaints die down, but the
damage is done. If nothing else, Facebook has learned that its users don't like
change. And yet, the company continues to change the site's design. Hopefully
the current version of Facebook will be around for the long haul. Even though
users griped, it actually works quite well.
3. Privacy, anyone?
has been a hot-button issue in the Facebook realm for quite some time
became so bad earlier this year that some users staged a protest by leaving
Facebook. Only about 30,000 users left the site, but it made enough news for the
rest of the community to take notice. Facebook continues to say that it values
user privacy, and its new privacy settings are a good first step in proving
that, but the company needs to do more to truly make its users happy.
4. The ever-increasing worry of security
As the "Dislike Button" scam has shown, security is
becoming an even greater issue on Facebook. In fact, a recent study from Sophos
found that 60 percent of IT managers believe that Facebook poses a greater
security threat than any other social network. One of the biggest worries was
Koobface, a sophisticated worm that has affected some Facebook (and,
admittedly, other social networks) user accounts. Those, along
with several other scams
, have caused some to call upon Facebook to improve