Facebook, Ads and Phishing. Bad Combo.

-Facebook Phishing Screenshot-

A warning from Google Chrome browser this morning alerted users trying to access Facebook that the widely used social network may be a phishing site, reports TechCrunch and tons of people on Twitter. Throughout the course of the morning, more and more users found that a similar warning appeared with Safari and Firefox browsers as well. This didn’t bode well for Facebook and we’d guess that there was also a temporary decrease in traffic resulting from this.

So it seemed pretty evident that the problem occurred with Facebook–not the browsers. A final update from Facebook has since resolved that the issue was actually the result of a bad advertising link, though few other details have been given. Nick O’Neill states that he was redirected yesterday to a blocked website as well after accidentally clicking on a random Facebook advertisement.

While Facebook has fixed the issue, there still remains an underlying concern about Facebook’s “bad” advertising link and the resulting implications. As Facebook has had an increasing amount of negative attention from spamming and phishing scams, one does wonder if this morning’s bad advertising link is somehow related. Last year MySpace had a similar issue with one of its advertisers’ outgoing links, which had somewhat of a domino effect on a handful of other advertising networks across the social media space.

Whatever the case may be, any phishing or spam-related activity connecting Facebook and advertising would be terrible timing. This is especially prevalent as Facebook is doing so much to make its network more accommodating for a number of marketing options, as well as becoming further integrated with third party services through Facebook Connect.