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Facebook Is Testing A Tool To Weed Out Scammy Advertisers

Users who buy things from Facebook advertisers are being asked to rate their experience, as the company tries to crack down on scam ads.

Posted on December 7, 2016, at 7:21 p.m. ET

Facebook is testing a tool that asks users about their experiences buying things from its advertisers, after promising earlier this year to crack down on shady businesses that use the social network to find customers.

The tool appears underneath ads on the site, asking users if they have purchased something from the seller in the past. If so, it asks them if the purchase went "well" or "poorly."

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In April, a BuzzFeed News investigation revealed a network of China-based fashion sites using Facebook to acquire customers, racking up thousands of complaints over the poor, sometimes comical quality of the products they shipped to users. Many used images stolen from high-end fashion brands to hawk poorly made, often unwearable products.

In response to the story, Facebook advertising chief Andrew Bosworth said the company would "do everything we can" to stop advertisers from using the platform to sell "overwhelmingly unsatisfactory" products to its users.

The new tool appears to be part of that response. "We said we’d continue improving our signals to better understand people’s experiences with businesses and product purchases that came from ads on Facebook," a spokesperson told BuzzFeed News.

"This test survey is one of the tools we’re employing to garner feedback from people on those kinds of purchases. Making ads better for both people and businesses is our consistent goal and we’ll continue to work on improving ads that drive commerce."

It's unclear when Facebook rolled out the test, or how many users are seeing it. Twitter user Alexander Kaufman spotted it in the wild on Wednesday.

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