Facebook Gives Developers a Way to Combat Spam 2.0 With

Facebook seems to have been on a role lately in adding new FBML tags. They are certainly keeping me busy while I finish up the final phases of “FBML Essentials“. Ironically in short duration after I posted my Spam 2.0 article, Facebook seems, based on a new post to the developers wiki, to be providing a new way to combat your Application from being maliciously used by adding the ability to add “Captchas”, or graphics with manipulated text in them to re-enter in a text box provided in the captcha. These Captchas traditionally are ways to ensure only real humans are using your software.

What is interesting is normally you would think having a Facebook profile would be enough to prove it is a real human using the Application. Within the application a developer in normal FBML can always check to see that it is a logged-in Facebook user using the application, or someone accessing the application in an unauthenticated state. Facebook is going one step further with this however – there’s nothing stopping a Facebook account from being hijacked as we mentioned earlier, and using that account to run a malicious Facebook app for a day or two before Facebook catches it and either steal your data or Spam other users. That’s what I’m assuming the launch of this tag is for.

The tag works like this – it is to be contained in any tagset, and can contain one optional attribute, “showall” which allows you to always display the captcha on the App regardless if they passed the captcha before or not, or only display it to those that have not yet been verified. The code would look like this (from the developers wiki):

Upon submit, the user would be taken back to the callback url for your application, and the additional parameter, “fb_sig_captcha_grade=1” will be passed to your application assuming the user passed the Captcha. If they did not pass, it will be set to 0. The end result captcha when render seems to look like any other captcha box on Facebook, which it seems they are using the Recaptcha format which gives back to Archive.org’s book transcription and archiving project. So regardless of whether you really need a captcha or not, you can be comfortable your app is giving back to a good cause. The captcha looks like this (also from the Facebook developer’s wiki):

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Jesse Stay has been a pioneer in the space of social media marketing since before it was called "social media marketing". Originally a software developer, Jesse built a tool called SocialToo.com which helped brands like Pepsi, Brittany Spears, and MC Hammer grow their social media presence, and before he knew it brands were coming to him for help to grow their presence in very unique ways. His tool was featured on almost every tech blog and even mainstream news sites like New York Times, Techcrunch, and Mashable. Jesse also spent a brief period working FOR Facebook, Inc., helping them to build out their documentation to help companies integrate Facebook Connect into their websites and mobile apps. Jesse took his skills and helped the LDS Church kick off most of its social media programs. While there he helped launch the award-winning "I'm a Mormon" marketing campaign with global reach worldwide in the millions of views and followers. Jesse established new global programs at the Church to further grow its reach amongst both members and non-members of the Church, working with every department of the Church, also including entities like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Brigham Young University. He also helped the Church navigate its voice and presence during the Mitt Romney Presidential campaign due to the significant attention the Church was getting at the time. He established the social media advertising techniques and strategies employed at Deseret Digital Media growing over 20 million fans across their news properties in just 6 months, and was featured on AdWeek for his success. As founder and Principal of Stay N Alive, Jesse has developed very unique techniques in social media advertising to help organizations grow presences, within months on minimal budgets, into hundreds of thousands of highly relevant and engaging fans and followers. He designed and teaches social media advertising at LDS Business College. He has helped grow sales, and has a belief that yes, you CAN measure social! Jesse has been featured as one of 10 entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter (next to Biz Stone and Ev Williams, founders of Twitter) by Entrepreneur magazine. Jesse has written 9 books on the topic of social media marketing and development, including Google+ Marketing For Dummies and Facebook All In One For Dummies, and eats, lives, and drinks social media with a personal combined presence of over 600,000 followers on his personal social profiles.

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