Just as the social networking monolith hits a landmark 1 billion users, Facebook has had to admit it really does have a fake “like” problem. The fake clicks may well be hardwired into Facebook’s architecture at the moment, based on discoveries about the nature of false clicks. The BBC reports:
Facebook is finally following up on its plan to eliminate the phenomenon of fake page or profile ‘likes’ produced by malware or deception. As CNN reports, this has caused noticeable dips in likes on a number of popular pages, such as those for Lady Gaga, The Simpsons and Zynga’s page for Texas HoldEm Poker. We tried and failed to see if the page for Zuck’s dog Beast had taken a hit during the purge, but with 989,000 likes and counting, we think the adorable Hungarian Sheepdog can rest easy, for now.
If you think people act fake online now, just wait: troubling research seems to indicate that in just two years’ time, up to 15 percent of our social media interaction will be truly fake. This means fake “likes” on Facebook pages and Twitter accounts padded with thousands of followers with obviously machine-generated names and nonsensical tweets will become a common feature of our social media experience.
As TechCrunch explains, however, the advent of paid social networking stroke jobs has given birth to sleuthing services to help us separate the merely glib from digitally-generated affection: