Facebook is weeding out fake “Likes” on its social network that are being caused by spammers, malware and black marketeers as it strives to maintain credibility as an advertising platform.
Facebook said the number of Likes, or endorsements by users, on corporate pages is likely to drop by less than 1 percent, on average, after the crackdown.
“Newly improved automated efforts will remove those Likes gained by malware, compromised accounts, deceived users, or purchased bulk Likes,” Facebook said in a post on its official blog on Friday.
“While we have always had dedicated protections against each of these threats on Facebook, these improved systems have been specifically configured to identify and take action against suspicious Likes,” the post continued.
Thanks to a growing black market, companies can instantly raise their profile on Facebook by purchasing thousands of Likes at a time – a practice that is forbidden by the No. 1 social network, which has 955 million users.
Many of these Likes come from bogus Facebook user accounts rather than genuine users of the social network.
Meanwhile, various spam-like programs on Facebook deceive users into unwittingly liking something when they perform another action, such as clicking to watch a video.
Facebook said the cleanup will benefit both users and companies that maintain pages on the network, by giving a more accurate measurement of fan count and demographics.
Ensuring the integrity of Likes is serious business for Facebook, which depends on advertising revenue from large brands and other businesses. Many of the ad campaigns that companies conduct on Facebook are designed to garner Likes – a sign that their marketing message has resonated with consumers.
But some brand owners will no doubt wake up to the fact that the love they thought they were getting from Facebook users is not quite as heartfelt as it appeared. And that in turn may make them “like” Facebook’s adverts just a little bit less.
source: Facebook in a blog post