Misinformation seems to be everywhere these days, and Facebook is a hotbed for it. Not only does Facebook act as a platform for fake news to spread quickly and widely, but there’s plenty of other opportunities for deception as well, particularly within Messenger. Facebook could be looking to curb that with a new feature it’s rolling into testing today.
According to a new write-up over at Motherboard, Facebook is looking to shine a light on fake accounts that attempt to pull one over on others through Messenger. Though this isn’t available to all users yet – and might not be for quite some time – its usefulness is immediately obvious, as it tries to provide more information on contacts you haven’t had any previous interaction with.
In a screenshot shared with Motherboard, we can see this new feature in action. If someone you don’t have a connection with reaches out via Messenger, you’ll see extra information placed at the top of the conversation. In this particular screenshot, we’re told that the sender is logged in with a Russian phone number, that their account was recently created, and that they’re using Messenger without a Facebook account.
This new functionality will also tell users when unknown contacts are different from existing friends, which could help fix a major problem on Facebook and Messenger. Often times, scammers will target people by creating new profiles that share a name with one of the target’s existing Facebook friends, and this could help put an end to that kind of behavior.
“We are testing a way to provide people with more context on folks they may not have connected with previously,” Messenger’s Dalya Browne told Motherboard, noting that it’s just a small test for now. Assuming things go well, however, the hope is that this handy feature will roll out to all users before long. We’ll keep an ear to the ground for more, so stay tuned.