The Facebook tries to prevent malicious users from abusing its system in any way. For this reason it creates a world of bots that can mimic what is happening on the larger social network.
Researchers at the company have published a paper called "Web-enabled Simulation" or "Web Enabled Simulation”(WES) for testing the platform.
It is basically a shadow Facebook where non-existent users can like, share, and make friends (or harass others or create and run scams). All this away from the human eye.
The Facebook describes the creation of a scalable simulation of its platform, consisting of fake users with different types of real behavior. For example, a "scammer" bot may be trained to connect with "target" bots that exhibit behaviors similar to the actual scam victims in Facebook.
Other bots may be trained to invade the privacy of fake users or to serve "bad" content that violates its rules. Facebook.
Software simulations are obviously common and Facebook creates a previously automated testing tool called Sapienz.
This could help Facebook to detect various errors, or even to learn from the behaviors of bots. Researchers can create WES users whose sole purpose is to steal information from other bots. If they suddenly find ways to access more data, this could indicate that there is a vulnerability that scammers can exploit.
The Facebook wants to create a whole parallel social environment. Within this large-scale fake network, they will be able to develop "completely isolated bots that can perform arbitrary actions" and will be able to model the way with which regular users respond to the platform (this has been done again in real users).
However, the researchers warn that "bots must be properly isolated from real users to ensure that the simulation, even if performed in real platform code, will not lead to unexpected interactions between bots and real users."
The Facebook calls the WW system, which is an abbreviation of "WES World".