'Dislike Button' Scams Target Facebook Users
Facebook users are once again under attack from scammers. Users are being enticed to spam their friends, hand over personal information via dodgy survey sites, and install malware via the promise of a 'Dislike Button' for their Facebook accounts.
Facebook dislike button scams are nothing new. However, recent media reports that claim that Facebook may soon be unveiling an official dislike button have given criminals cause to resurrect an old scammer tactic. But, as discussed in more detail below, there is, as yet, no official dislike button available and any post that claims that you can get such a button now is sure to be a scam.
Circulating scam posts like the one shown in the example below claim that you can click a link to get the new dislike button on your profile. However, if you do click the link, you will be taken to a fake Facebook page that instructs you to share and like the post and then send it to a number of Facebook groups before you can add the promised dislike button. This ruse ensures that the scam post reaches an ever-widening Facebook audience.
And, even after you have shared, liked, and spammed your groups as instructed, you will still not get hold of the promised dislike button. Instead, you will be told via a popup window that you must verify your account by clicking a link to participate in a survey.
The link will open a dodgy website that promises the chance to win various prizes in exchange for filling in a survey and providing your personal information. However, fine-print on the page will inform you that the information you provide will be shared with third-party marketing companies and 'site sponsors'. Thus, you may soon be inundated with unwanted phone calls, emails, and surface mail that tries to entice you to buy various products and services.
Meanwhile, the scammers who created the fake dislike button messages will earn commissions via underhand affiliate marketing scams each time a victim participates in a survey.
Other versions of the scam may try to trick you into downloading malware or installing rogue browser plugins.
So did Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg actually promise a dislike button? Not really. At a recent Q&A session at Facebook headquarters, Zuckerberg noted that, for years, users had been consistently requesting a 'dislike button' and that the company was at last working on such an option. However, he goes on to explain that any such button would not be intended as a means of down voting a post, but rather a way for users to show empathy.
For example, if a friend posts bad or upsetting news, clicking 'like' may seem inappropriate. A button that clearly expresses empathy or understanding would bypass the potential awkwardness of hitting 'like' in such situations. It is this sort of button that Mark Zuckerberg is discussing.
So, it is currently unclear what form the proposed empathy button will take. And, the button is certainly not available in any form at this time. Do not click on any post that claims that you can get an official Facebook dislike button now. When and if such an option does become available, it will be rolled out via official channels and you certainly will not need to spam your friends, fill in surveys, or download anything to get it.
Last updated: September 22, 2015
First published: September 22, 2015
By Brett M. Christensen
A dislike button isn’t coming to Facebook, but Mark Zuckerberg is making an ‘empathy’ option
Townhall Q&A: September 15, 2015d
What is a Facebook Survey Scam?