Thumbs Down: Facebook Battles Bogus 'Dislike' Button

But a clever scammer has beaten Facebook to the punch, launching a spurious dislike button that promises to let Facebook users give status updates a virtual thumbs down, as opposed to the virtual thumbs up offered with the like button. That bogus dislike button, however, is a scam, security pros have said.

And now, Facebook is working to block the mock application from spreading.

Facebook is warning users to be wary of suspicious applications, namely the dislike button that is making the rounds on the social networking site.

"Beware of the fake Facebook 'dislike' button," Facebook Security wrote on its Facebook page. "As always, we advise you not to click on suspicious links on Facebook. We're working hard to stop these from spreading. If you see one, report it to us, and warn any friends who might be affected."

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"We're working hard to block and remove malicious applications that claim to provide dislike functionality and inadvertently update people's statuses," a Facebook spokesperson told CNN in an e-mail.

A Sophos security researcher said this week that the dislike button is a scam and by accepting the link Facebook users give a rogue application permission to access their profile, which then begins propagating itself to other Facebook users.

"If you give the app permission to run, it silently updates your Facebook status to promote the link that tricked you in the first place, thus spreading the message virally to your Facebook friends and online contacts," Sophos senior technology consultant Graham Cluley wrote in a blog post.

The scam also instructs users to fill out an online survey, which can generate revenue for the scammers.

As Facebook works to block and disable the phone dislike button, popular social networking site is reminding its 500 million users how to uninstall unwanted applications. According to Facebook, users who already installed the fake dislike button application can click on the "account" button at the top right of the Facebook home screen; navigate to "application settings" and disable the dislike button.

And if the application has posted to your Facebook wall, users can go to their profile page and delete those posts to prevent the scam from spreading further. Some experts also suggest users check their interests and like settings in their profile to be sure the devilish dislike button hasn't shoehorned its way into those areas, as well.

"It's important to keep in mind that there is no official dislike button," Facebook cautioned to CNN. "Also, don't click on strange links, even if they are from friends, and notify the person and report the link if you see something suspicious."

Facebook also pointed out that if it does decide to offer a legitimate dislike button, that option will show up on its own and users won't be required to install it.