Facebook Shows Its Fake-Like Fighting Teeth, Says It Has Won $2 Billion In Legal Judgements Against Spammers
Touting its efforts to cut down on spam, Facebook revealed some of its fraud-fighting tactics today — including that it has won nearly $2 billion in legal judgements against spammers — and offered advice to businesses to avoid being fooled by fake-like scams. Fake likes are a particular target for Facebook, and much of the […]
Touting its efforts to cut down on spam, Facebook revealed some of its fraud-fighting tactics today — including that it has won nearly $2 billion in legal judgements against spammers — and offered advice to businesses to avoid being fooled by fake-like scams.
Fake likes are a particular target for Facebook, and much of the post by Facebook site integrity engineer Matt Jones focused on the company’s battle against them.
Sold by so-called like farms that promise to deliver large numbers of likes to Pages, they are marketed to unwitting Page administrators trying to build their networks. To deliver likes, scammers set up fake accounts or hack into real accounts to send out spam.
“We have a strong incentive to aggressively go after the bad actors behind fake likes because businesses and people who use our platform want real connections and results, not fakes,” Jones wrote in the post. “Businesses won’t achieve results and could end up doing less business on Facebook if the people they’re connected to aren’t real. It’s in our best interest to make sure that interactions are authentic.”
Facebook fights like spam, Jones wrote, by using machine learning tools to flag suspicious behavior. When it’s caught, accounts of violators are shut down and fake likes are removed. Facebook also limits the number of likes per account and if a user’s like activity spikes unusually, the company’s spam fighters ask for verification.
“These measures often help slow down or deter the activity completely,” Jones wrote. “Ultimately, it’s a combination of approaches rather than a single technique that helps us stay ahead of the spammers.”
If necessary, Facebook takes legal action against fraud; Jones’ post said the company has won nearly $2 billion in judgements against spammers. Marketing Land confirmed that number with a Facebook spokesperson, who said the company isn’t releasing more information about the judgements, including the time frame.
Jones wrote that his post was timed to coincide with National Cyber Security Awareness Month. It’s October. He offered tips for Page administrators and other Facebook users:
Don’t buy fraudulent likes
Fraudulent likes are going to do more harm than good to your Page. The people involved are unlikely to engage with a Page after liking it initially. Our algorithm takes Page engagement rates into account when deciding when and where to deliver a Page’s legitimate ads and content, so Pages with an artificially inflated number of likes are actually making it harder on themselves to reach the people they care about most.
Focus on key business objectives
Page likes can make your ads more effective and efficient, and they can provide you with insights into people connected to your business. However, obtaining likes shouldn’t be a goal unto itself. Your business will see much greater value if you use Facebook to achieve specific business objectives, like driving in-store sales or boosting app downloads.
If getting more likes will help you drive your business objectives, we offer tools to help Pages generate authentic likes from real people who are genuinely interested in a Page. You can visit the “Build Audience” tab on any Page you administer in order to invite friends to like the Page or pay to promote your Page using targeting criteria that you specify. Targeting is the key to obtaining the specific results you want from your campaign.
Be cautious to avoid infecting your computer with malware
Malware is software that’s designed to take unwanted actions on your behalf, such as liking Pages. You can get malware from things like:
- Clicking suspicious links, including ones that try to get you to watch a “shocking video” or view “unbelievable photos of you”
- Visiting a website that claims to offer special features on Facebook
- Downloading a browser add-on that claims to do something to alter your Facebook experience. There are sites and add-ons that claim they can show you who’s viewing your profile, change the color of your profile or help you remove your Timeline. These features don’t exist.
If you think you have malware on your computer, learn how to get rid of it.
You can read Jones’ full post here: