Facebook May Start Observing the Behaviors of Bad Actors through Hidden, Bot-Based Platform

Facebook has been try to make its platform safe and secure and now to stop it from being abused, it has built group of bots to identical platform. A paper was published by the company researchers on “Web Enabled Simulation” (WES) to test the platform by replicating a Facebook-like platform with nonexistent users who can like, share, comment, add friends, harass, scam or abuse, basically anything that happens on actual Facebook.

The purpose of building a scaled-down and separate simulation of a platform is to check various real behaviors using fake users. Like there could be a bot imitating as scammer, trained to link with the ‘victim’ bots, which behave the same as the real scam victims on Facebook. Some bots are trained to violate the privacy of other fake users or perform any act that is against the rules of Facebook.

Software simulations are common and the company is expanding, Sapienz, an automated testing tool. It is called the WES system because it set free various bots on a social platform that is quite similar as the real one, instead of a replicated model with similar functions. Bots do not click on the actual app or webpage of Facebook but it carries out the same activities, like sharing a post through Facebook code, quite like a real user.

It could also be used to help Facebook in finding bugs. Like researchers can develop WES to steal data of other bots by setting them free on the system. If after an update, it can access data more than it should, it means there is a vulnerability that real scammers can exploit on the platform. The testing process will only be through bots on fellow bots and would not affect the real users.

Some of the bots might also be given access to real Facebook, with limited access in read-only capacity so the privacy rules are not violated. On the other side, Facebook wants to form a separate social graph and with the fake network on a large scale, it can set up isolated bots to perform random actions and observations. It will be to judge how real users might respond to the changes on the platform, as Facebook also often do by introducing hidden tests only to certain real users.

Researchers are extra careful about keeping bots isolated from the real users to avoid interaction between bots and users during the simulation performed on real Facebook code.

Facebook calls its system WW, which stands for WES World. Facebook is not developing Westworld, instead it is simulacron, which means a world with an artificial population to know more about the behaviors of real people.

Though researchers are restrictive about the interaction of bots because of real users, they are also avoiding the disastrous existential crisis among bots.

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