London: Social networking website Facebook will develop new security measures to combat a surge in bullying of strangers with offensive messages, termed "trolling" in internet parlance.
Officials at Facebook are working on new systems to fight "trolling", where anonymous online users bombard victims with offensive messages or abuse, the Daily Telegraph reported.
A growing number of tribute pages, including those in memory of soldiers who died in Afghanistan, have been targets of trollers.
Currently, users can only manually delete abusive messages. But in efforts to combat the growing trend, Facebook has said it is working on new systems that would automatically delete abuse.
Jim Gamble, chief executive of Britain's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), who has been working with Facebook to combat cyber bullying, has welcomed the news.
Gamble said the "ClickCEOP" application on Facebook was downloaded more than 10,000 times since its launch in July. The application gives users a direct link to advice, help and the ability to report cyber problems to the centre.
A Facebook spokesman said while the company has already employed "robust" systems, engineers were developing new programmes to combat the threat.
"Users who send lots of messages to non-friends, or whose friend requests are rejected at a high rate, are marked as suspect."
First Published: Thursday, August 12, 2010, 14:18