Deactivate Facebook Timeline Scams Prey On Unhappy UsersBy: Josh Wolford - January 5, 2012
Facebook’s new Timeline feature isn’t going away (I mean, did you see Mark Zuckerberg talk about it at f8 – he was absolutely giddy). And once you opt in to it, you can’t go back to the old profile format. Soon, the Timeline will become mandatory for all Facebook users so that whole opt-in thing won’t even be an issue.
It’s pretty well documented that Facebook users are adverse to change. Good changes, bad changes – it doesn’t matter. Any tweak that Facebook makes is sure to infuriate a variable portion of the population. Seriously, people bitched about the News Feed when it debuted years and years ago.
So, holding true to the any change is bad truism, the Timeline is not universally popular. Although (an unscientific friend study tells me that) it’s not even close to the most unpopular shift that Facebook has ever made, it definitely has its detractors. And Facebook Timeline hatred is fertile ground for malicious, spammy apps.
Scammers are taking advantage of some users’ desire to revert back to the old profile and do away with the Timeline. Numerous pages and apps have popped up in recent weeks that claim to be able to deactivate the Timeline. The pages ask users to click like buttons, share things with friends, etc.
But of course, all of this work fails to lead to the removal of the Timeline, but instead allows scammers access to user data as well as the ability to spam the hell out of their friends.
Here’s one of the many pages that tout deactivation services. As you’ll see, the steps that it asks users to complete are pretty ridiculous – but you’ll also notice that nearly 7,500 people have participated.
Inside Facebook says that they have spotted 16 Timeline-related scam pages totaling more than 71,000 likes. Many of these pages and apps appear on the first page of results for the phrase “timeline.”
Of course, not all of the pages look as “legit” as the one above. Even this page has managed to get 2,500+ likes:
The official Facebook Security page has yet to specifically address the issue. In the meantime, the best thing that you can do if you run across one of these pages is to report it as spam.
Just don’t click “like” twelve times in the hopes that your Timeline will go away.