An investigation set up in 2012 revealed that advertising through Facebook’s network resulted in likes from fake and suspicious accounts despite the fact they would never have been real customers or held any genuine interest in the business at all. Years have passed and Facebook has finally announced that it is making a stand to clear its network of ‘fake likes’ which make Facebook pages appear more popular than they really are.
‘Fake likes’ are fraudulent and financially motivated schemes where ‘likes’ are offered for money or accounts are made with the sole purpose of spamming other users. Examples of this are accounts offering “10,000 likes” for cash. Not only is this against the Facebook policy, but the accounts used to achieve this likes are often fake or in some cases, genuine accounts that have been hacked.
Facebook has won over £1.3billion in legal judgements against scam artists so far and intends to tackle the issue “aggressively” through legal action and sophisticated anti-spam algorithms in an attempt to make the abuse of its network less profitable for spammers. In a recent statement, Facebook explained the negative impact upon the network that spammers have, stating that bumping up likes does more harm than good and result in businesses declining due to being surrounded by a network of fakes rather than developing real new connections.
Businesses who host Facebook pages are often seeking new custom through likes therefore making a brand, product or service appear more appealing will always be a temptation, however they should always remember that to move forward they need real people, not robots. Facebook isn’t the only place with these temptations – other social networks are equally as bad, however Facebook has proved to be one of the first to acknowledge this.