Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s inability, or unwillingness, to tackle false Likes continues to draw attention as businesses realize that often extending their reach through the social media site means reaching out to more and more Like farmers trying to hide from Facebook monitoring.
Like farming now impacts legitimate businesses
“Like farming”, basically paying a bunch of people to Like your Facebook page or join your group, is already an old tactic, but now people who are legitimate businesses are getting caught up in attempts to obfuscate who is a Like farmer (usually someone in the developing world getting paid peanuts to sit at a computer and click on Likes all day) and who is a normal user. If a network of Like farmers always operate in tandem then they become easy for Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) to spot and the accounts can be deactivated.
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That’s why the farmers are now diversifying their Likes. By Liking a large number of random pages and groups, and not always using the same network subset for Liking a paying client’s page, diversification creates a lot of noise, making the signal harder to track.
“In an attempt to avoid Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s bot/spam detection, these “like farmers” diversify likes into Pages they have not been paid to target, or who aren’t paying to reach more eyes. It’s a much more clever way to slip under the Facebook spam radar, as the behavior appears natural and organic,” writes Jaron Schneider for The Next Web.
Facebook should be able to differentiate farming from typical behavior
But that sounds more like Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s excuse than a real programming hurdle that can’t be solved. A person who sits at a computer for 8 or more hours per day clicking Like on every page that Facebook suggested really doesn’t resemble a typical user. Facebook logs and analyzes every aspect of what we do on Facebook, so the assumption that it can’t tell who is abusing the system and who is expressing genuine interest is hard to believe.
Whatever the reason Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) hasn’t tackled this issue, it will eventually have to take spamming more seriously because it diminishes the value of advertising. As the percentage of fake accounts and bogus Likes continues to grow, the engagement numbers that Facebook uses to measure advertising reach will be less meaningful. Considering that ad revenue is the company’s bread and butter, it’s surprising they haven’t been more aggressive about this.