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Technology  26, Dec 2013

Would you pay to identify fake Facebook profiles for your safety?

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Facebook app – Fake OFF, offers anti-virus like services to users by scanning profiles of every new friend to identify fake profiles

Fake ‘likes’, fake groups and fake profiles have been amongst the top issues faced by Facebook authorities and its users. While the company itself has been taking a number of initiatives to cut down the dangers and protect its currency, the ultimate safety lies in the hands of the users.

Granting users this ultimate power is a Facebook application Fake OFF. The app allows users to detect hoax accounts and block them from their profile.

“The idea is to protect our users from scammers and fake friends, we give you the tool to protect yourself from them in the online social network where it’s much more difficult for the naked eye to spot them (the fakes),” shared Eliran Shachar, CEO and Progenitor, Fake OFF.

Read Also: Think Facebook Messenger is too boring? DrawChat spices things up!

A manual anti-virus!
Shachar claims that more than 10 per cent, which comes down to almost 135 million plus users are fake, which is a very alarming number.

The application actually lets users select one or more of their suspected friends and let them automatically run an investigation on them (suspects) using all the public data they spot on their profile.

“The algorithm scans the suspect timeline activity and locates not normal activity in 20 different areas of activity and then ranks your suspect in a credibility score 1-10. After you get this result, you can run a test on the suspect photos and find if one of them is taken from another place on the web,” explained Shachar.

Post the automated investigation, users are asked to manually answer certain questions about the suspect, so as to determine accurate results.

The application can be used to investigate infinite number of suspects and has features such as history scans and photo scans. Also, the app offers real time notifications of low scored friends and alerts on new friends.

Shachar shared with e27 that Fake OFF is available at no cost for its users, but has a few premium paid features too. Some of the premium features include deep scan of the suspect timeline history (up to a year back) and the unlimited photo scanning.

Users can choose to pay $1.9 for full investigation of one suspect or $9.99/m for a real time unlimited 24/7 protection wherein the app actively scans new friends and gives full results with no limitations (like an antivirus program).

The application was launched in October 2013 and claims to have almost 10,000 users so far.

Our take
Compared to the tutorials available online to identify a fake profile, Fake OFF is comparatively safer and offers definite results. However, considerable outcome of the results depends on the way manual questions are answered and thus could lead to bias or inaccurate information leading to false results.

Also, to get people to shell out money for their security on Facebook could be difficult. Especially, since the huge chunk of teenage audience would not have access to monetary resources to pay the required fee.

Nonetheless, the application can definitely serve as a basic filter to monitor profiles and keep suspicious ones at bay.

Read Also: Selling fake products online: the villain and guardian

Saloni Surti

Saloni Surti

A writer by heart, Saloni loves pouring words about anything and everything under this sky. Short stories and philosophy writing come to her naturally.

  • Eliran Shachar

    Hi, the manual questions does not take into consideration when getting the suspect score. It’s only effect user usage on certion answers :)

  • Saloni Surti

    Thanks Eliran. Would request you to elaborate on the impact of the manual questions…..

  • Eliran Shachar

    Sure Saloni, the manual questions cover areas that cannot be
    covered otherwise, Questions like “if your suspect is a celebrity” or
    “Who added who as a friend first” only help the app understand more
    about the connection between the suspect and the user. If the algorithm or
    photo scans cannot retrieve proper verdict of the suspect then the questions
    can help put some light on the investigation, but not as a score, just as
    helpful tips.

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