Facebook has announced a new feature on their messenger app designed to protect users from scammers.
The social media app scans accounts for any suspicious activity and will pick up anomalies such as sending out many friend requests within a short time span or sending out many messenger requests to users under the age of 18. The function has arrived at a time when there is an influx in false friend requests caused by a change to Facebook’s search algorithm.
If the app detects any suspicious activity, a pop up chat window will appear noting the issue, and with the options of either blocking or ignoring the user. The feature was already rolled out for a limited number of android users from March. The iOS function will arrive sometime next week.
The feature is in line with Facebook’s effort to protect users from scammers and pseudo accounts who steal other users’ online identity, as well as protecting minors who are the most vulnerable. The feature will limit interaction between adults and minors who are not yet connected to the social media app.
“Our new feature educates people under the age of 18 to be cautious when interacting with an adult they may not know and empowers them to take action before responding to a message.” Facebook’s announcement read.
According to the social media giant, the feature will act together with the addition of an end-to-end encryption on the platform, which is likely where leveraging machine learning comes in to detect the anomalies and prevent human operators from having to view sensitive information.