This article was published on November 6, 2019

Facebook is testing facial detection tech to keep bots at bay (update)

Facebook is testing facial detection tech to keep bots at bay (update) Image by: US CBP

In order to keep its social network free of malicious bots, Facebook keeps trying out new tactics.In its latest test, it’s deploying facial recognition tech to spot fake profiles.

The feature, spotted by app researcher Jane Manchun Wong, asks you to take a video selfie and turn your head from side to side in order to verify that you’re not a bot.

The text in app screenshots posted by Wong reads, “We need a short video of you turning your head in different directions. This helps us confirm your identity and check you’re a real person.”

There’s no word on when this feature will roll out, or when it’ll be used. Also, there’s clarity at the moment on how Facebook will store and use this data.

A Facebook spokesperson told TNW over an email that the company is experimenting with this feature to determine if a real person is operating the account:

This test is one of the steps we use to determine that a real person is operating an account rather than a bot. It does not use facial recognition. Instead, it detects motion and whether a face is in the video.

If the social networking firm thinks a profile is fake, it’ll ask them to submit a short selfie video for verification. It sounds just like facial recognition to identify real users.

Wong also noted the social network is trying to improve its verification by ID process. With these new methods, Facebook could help make its social network more secure – but it remains to be seen if people will feel comfortable sharing this sort of personal data with the company.

Update (06/11/2019 12.30 IST): Included the statement from Facebook.

Update (06/11/2019 15:18 CST): Changed headline text from “facial recognition” to “facial detection” to reflect Facebook’s official stance.

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