Facebook, the social media platform that doesn’t need an introduction as one-third of the population all over the world uses it to connect to their friends, family, college, etc. is facing accusations regarding fake news for some time now. Many users, techies, software companies have already complained about the misleading information that is being spread on the platform. Now, during this coronavirus pandemic, as the people are staying at homes in-home and self quarantines, some people started to spread fake news regarding the virus and other cases.
Facebook’s New Hidden Bot-only Platform is WES
To tackle with this, Facebook has decided to do something to curb this misleading information on its platform of all kinds it started developing a secret, hidden bot-only platform that would learn about these scammers and trolls. The researchers of Facebook have released a paper titled “Web Enabled Simulation“(WES) to test the bot-only platform. This WES is a shadow Facebook where nonexistent users(bots) can like, share, etc.
Software simulations are very common, and it seems Facebook is expanding on Sapienz, which is the company’s earlier automated testing tool. But, the company says that WES is different from Sapienz, as it turns a number of bots to tackle the issue, and it is not just a program that would replicate the platform’s function but is similar to an actual platform. While bots will send friend requests using a Facebook code that is similar to real-life users would act and not just click around on random websites.
The platform called ‘WW‘ abbreviated for “WES World” automatically recommends changes that are to be made on the platform, which improves the community experience, an MIT report said.
The MIT report further says, Facebook has a huge user base of around 2.5 billion, and the general debugging methods to clear out the bug is not sufficient. These methods are generally targeted on each individual user basis on how the platform responds to each of them. But this is not possible in the case of Facebook with its massive user base.
Facebook reports that “the new simulation is like a walled-off simulated platform to identify fake user bots by using some real kinds of behavior. It is like, for example, a ‘scammer’ bot is trained to connect to ‘target’ bots that are exhibiting real-life FB scam victims’ behavior. And, other bots are there to identify the fake users and clear out the bad content that is violating Facebook’s rules.”
The platform WW is not just a testing prototype but is rather built directly on the platform to tackle the issue directly. It is one more key difference from other testing platforms. With its every adjustment, the platform finds a better combination that would achieve the most desired community behavior and recommends the best version to the developers.
The bots interact with the users directly from the front end from where the general user interacts with the profile and other features of the website rather than a back-end code that is used by a fake bot user. It helps them to co-exist with different users and simulate different scenarios more accurately on the platform without having to interact with the users mistakenly. And, this could also help Facebook in identifying bugs at a faster rate in the future.