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The Main Street Analyst

Facebook confirms it is scanning your private messages for links to increase Like counters – The Next Web.

Yesterday I spotted a video submitted to Hacker News by the Polish startup Killswitch.me that clearly showed sending a link in a Facebook private message increases the Like counter on the link’s originating third-party website. This would suggest Facebook is scanning your private messages for shared links to Web pages with Like buttons, so it can increase the number of corresponding Likes for those pages. Facebook confirmed this information with me today, though it did emphasize this only happens for third-party websites with Facebook plugins, not Facebook Pages.

The original video included NSFW imagery and was promptly taken down by YouTube (for reference, it’s still up on Vimeo). In addition to the potential privacy problems of performing such scans, the short clip also showed a curious oddity: when Facebook detects…

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