The BBC Aghast to Discover Spammy and/or Fake Facebook Profiles

Wait, people sometimes LIE on the INTERNET?
 The BBC Aghast to Discover Spammy and/or Fake Facebook Profiles

(pulse2.com)

The BBC has some questions about this website, “The Facebook.” Perhaps you’ve heard of it? A bit of poking around reveals a shocking truth

A BBC investigation suggests companies are wasting large sums of money on adverts to gain “likes” from Facebook members who have no real interest in their products.

Do go on, good sirs.

The BBC was contacted by a social media marketing consultant whose clients, once they started digging into the details of their brand-new fans, were none too pleased. Let’s just say they weren’t hitting their target audience:

While they had been targeting Facebook users around the world, all their “likes” appeared to be coming from countries such as the Philippines and Egypt.

“They were 13 to 17 years old, the profile names were highly suspicious, and when we dug deeper a number of these profiles were liking 3,000, 4,000, even 5,000 pages,” he said.

In fact, some of them might even be–to use a crass Americanism–complete B.S.:

One, going by the name Agung Pratama Sevenfoldism, showed his date of birth as 1997 and said he had been a manager at Chevron in 2010.

Mr Tinmouth said this seemed “unlikely”.

Deciding to investigate, the BBC made up a company, gave it the ludicrous name of “VirtualBagel,” and created a Facebook page. The result? “The number of “likes” it attracted from Egypt and the Philippines was out of proportion to other countries targeted such as the US and UK,” says the report. What is it with Egypt and the Philippines? Maybe they’ve just stumbled onto some cultural differences.

A spokesperson for Facebook just denied that fake profiles were a rampant problem and told the BBC that their social media “expert” probably should have run a more targeted campaign. Or perhaps they should have just shelled out for a more elite bunch of friends.

The fact that any of this surprised anyone at the BBC suggests at least a few people in journalism still haven’t succumbed to the social networking fad. Because fake friend requests are the only ones we seem to get any more.

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com
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