Recently, Facebook users in Bangladesh were left puzzled over the circulation of a message that asked its receivers to share it with 25 other users if they wanted to save their accounts.
The message, claimed to be from social media giant Facebook’s CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, says if the receiver fails to share the message with 25 more users within two weeks, their Facebook profile will be deactivated.
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A screenshot of the fake Facebook message that has been circulating over social media[/caption]
It claims that resending the message will verify if the user is an active Facebook user or not, as the social media platform is getting overpopulated and needs to lose some users.
However, industry experts have stated that though certain Facebook profiles were getting deactivated, the message is a scam devised to trick unaware Facebook users into deactivating their own accounts.
They said complying with the message was itself a violation of a community policy of Facebook.
Bangladeshi Facebook users became more confused as the threat of deactivation came at a time when rumours of Bangladesh government closing down Facebook accounts made the rounds on social media. The matter got fuel when accounts were actually getting deactivated.
Many blamed the government and heavily criticised the decision. But the Dhaka Tribune contacted the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) authorities on Monday and they confirmed that the government had no part in the recent deactivations. They said the steps were taken by Facebook itself to curb fake profiles from this country.
In this regard, experts said the incidents of abrupt deactivations are happening due to two completely different reasons.
How spammers are tricking users
Facebook has some strict community policies where they state that spamming of messages might lead to temporary deactivation of profiles.
Experts believe that as certain users are resending the fake message to their friends in quick succession, they are being marked as spammers automatically as they are copying and pasting the same message over and over again. This is causing the temporary deactivation of the accounts.
As per Facebook’s policy, the temporary deactivation is also applicable in cases of continuous reposting of a message, article or link, they added.
However, Facebook warns the affected user of the temporary deactivation and asks them to verify their accounts through various steps that includes recognising friends through pictures, answering personal questions or requesting a verification through an identification card.
Read More: Has your Facebook account been blocked? Follow these simple steps
It should be noted that such scam messages have been going around the internet through emails and previous popular social media platforms for many years.
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A screenshot of a query from 2015[/caption]
The Dhaka Tribune also found a query on Facebook Help Community where a user asked about the same deactivation threat back in 2015.