Facebook is testing a new feature that will identify malicious accounts sending unwarranted direct messages to a user on its Messenger platform. According to a report from Motherboard, the feature will provide additional information from unknown contacts, including whether an account was recently created and the phone number it used to log in. Motherboard received a screenshot of the test from multimedia artist Erin Gallagher.
The screenshot reveals a message from a user logged in from a Russian number. The warning from Facebook also shows the account to be created recently and the number is different than one of the account ‘being impersonated.’ The feature is said to be ‘geared’ towards fighting scams and unsolicited messages from accounts using fake or misleading identities, notes the report.
Facebook has confirmed to be testing the new feature to Motherboard. “We are testing a way to provide people with more context on folks they may not have connected with previously,” Facebook’s Messenger team told Motherboard.
The Cambridge Analytica scandal has put the social network under intense scrutiny in May this year. The company was also accused of sharing users’ private information with a number of device makers last month. While Facebook is ‘grappling’ with these privacy issues, the company is actively suspending accounts linked to the Internet Research Agency, which is a Russian-based company believed to have spread misinformation, fake news via Facebook.