Creative Problem Solver. Programmer. Bodysurfing. Sometime Comics.
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Account Takeovers in Instagram and Facebook are endemic

I learned of this via Are Technica but originally it appeared in Wired: Meta Abandons Hacking Victims, Draining Law Enforcement Resources, Officials Say. The letter, on the National Association of Attorneys General website: 41 Attorneys General Call On Meta To Protect Users’ Accounts From Scammers

With this letter, we request Meta take immediate action and substantially increase its investment in account takeover mitigation tactics, as well as responding to users whose accounts were taken over. This is crucial not just to protect your users, but to reduce the unnecessary resource burden being placed on our offices to handle these large numbers of user complaints. We refuse to operate as the customer service representatives of your company. Proper investment in response and mitigation is mandatory.

It’s all about moderation. And the big silos refuse to spend enough money, that is to say, hire enough moderators and customer support, to get this right.

Just this morning I saw that an acquaintance of mine’s Instagram account suddenly is shilling a Bitcoin scam. Completely frustrating to see this kind of thing happening.

Account takeovers are not a new phenomenon. This issue affects all social media platforms and other online accounts as well. However, the frequency and persistence of account takeovers on Meta-owned platforms puts it in a league of its own.
For example, in 2019, the New York Attorney General’s office received a total of 73 account takeover complaints on Meta platforms. That number rose more than tenfold to 783 complaints by the end of 2023. In January 2024 alone, the office received 128 complaints.

It’s possible to lose a website to fraud, of course, but my experience has been it’s possible to get support from hosting companies and domain registrars when it happens.

Whereas when this happens in Instagram or Facebook I see people pining for a way to get help with calls like “do you know anyone who works at Facebook who can help me?”, which points to a failure of management by Meta.

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