Perfidious sneaky new advertising trap on facebook

Submitted by Stefan Gofferje on Tue, 01/01/2013 - 22:40

Today I got a new notification on facebook, saying "Florin Georgian Voicilä also commented on", suggesting that I also commented on that page.

Well, I have not ever commented on "" and Florin Georgian Voicilä is neither in my friend list, nor did I subscribe to him. When I clicked on this notification, I was not ending up where I was expecting to...

First of all, there was no "you are leaving facebook" message. The link led immediately to but then redirected to - so it was a hidden advertising trap - a trick to get the user to a site which probably paid for the click.

As can be seen in the screenshot, this advertising link did appear as a normal notification. It was in no way marked as "sponsored" or "advertising". The whole appeareance, especially the "... also commented on..." is not only a perfidiously sneaky trick to make the user click on the advertising - at least in the EU it is also illegal to show advertising which is not marked as such.

The link URL "l.php?" contains obviously a unique identifier, so the advertiser very likely also gets personal information about the person who clicks the link.

All in all, this is just another huge step forward in the downfall of facebook and just confirmes my decision to move away from there.

Just to be clear... That's no third-party trick like the millions of clickjacking and other attacks which are going around. This is facebook itself, playing dirty tricks to earn some money through it's users!