CB 1000

21 October 2013
Like Farms, Fake Likes and Like posers. Calling out fakes!
by Circus Bazaar
Circus Bazaar
Independent News and Analysis platform dedicated to bringing issues of Political & Social significance to public discourse worldwide.

Two cowsThe Facebook like page is something that those that dwell in Social Media have become very accustomed to. To a large extent it has played almost a substitute role to a blog or a website for many businesses. All over the world companies use these pages in order to establish a direct line of communication to their market.

One of the most intriguing features of this is how Social Media reflects real life in the sense that popularity has a positive correlation to becoming more popular, or if something looks the part then it is more likely to be consumed. Commonly referred to as “Bullshit”, the world of Social Media is of course no different.
[pullquote]    “Thanks for your inquiry. ‪With our experience we have added even 100k likes. Please confirm us if you would like USA or Worldwide likes.”         – Facebook Like provider[/pullquote]
Circus Bazaar, although (in our humble opinion) a brave, honest and independent publication is not without the want to increase our audience which of course means an effort to increase our social media presence. This has come with its fair share of research. We found that one of the best and most common ways to increase your marketability is to “buy likes”. This is the process in which specific companies will use unethical tactics in order to generate “fake likes” on their page with the hope that potential followers will “monkey see, monkey do”.

There are two ways in which these companies will provide such a service and it seems to be dependent on location.

  1. Using deceptive hacker and spam type tactics to obtain “high quality” likes from individuals in opulent societies such as the United States.
  2. Using what they call “like farms” that are typically established in the third world nations where individuals apparently owning useless Facebook accounts spend their days liking pages they will never visit under payment schemes from these same companies.

Luckily Facebook being street wise to this provides two ways in which to counter this.

  1. The use of complex and intelligent algorithms that detect those pages that have a disproportionate amount of likes to regular visitors. These pages are then punished by selectively showing posts by those clearly following a more honest approach.
  2. Publishing public data directly on pages detailing, most popular week, most popular city, new people talking about this, and the most popular city.
  3. If it finds this practice, it can suspend or shut down offending pages.

As you can see from the below screen shot, this page has been selected out for “fake likes”. This is visible from the data. Particularly given the target group is European but the most popular city is Cairo. This data from all pages is available simply by clicking on the Like box in the profile.

A page exposed as a buying fake likes
A page exposed as a buying fake likes

Never the less this seems to not be enough.

Circus Bazaar has recently contacted a non disclosed provider of these so called fake likes and asked them of the possibility of being caught. See below conversation;

Circus Bazaar – How do you asses the risk of blockage with 1250 USA likes?

Non-disclosed provider – Thanks for your inquiry. ‪With our experience we have added even 100k likes. Please confirm us if you would like USA or Worldwide likes.‬‬

This is an all to common take and the more you look the more you become aware of this.

Next time you see a page that you think seems popular, check it out. If it looks a little dodgy, say all the followers seem to be from Punjab Pakistan then close out and ……. follow Circus Bazaar.


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