Here’s an interesting article that appeared on CNN.com about fake Facebook Profiles:
There’s not much more about it on Mashable, but it’s interesting to hear what the Mashable audience says.
In the article fake Profiles are categorized into three groups. The first two groups are fake for what Facebook classifies as “innocent reasons” – for example creating duplicate accounts or creating an account named for your business or organization. The third class comprises what the article reports as 1.5% of the total accounts – malicious accounts.
What are these malicious accounts doing maliciously? What destructive hijinks are these accounts perpetrating? The article characterizes their activity as “spamming” but how I am somewhat incredulous. How spammy can a fake Profile be? Are you going to stay friended to a Profile that sends spam? No way! Spamming on Facebook just isn’t practical. The volumes that spammers depend on can’t be achieved through a Friend List.
So what are these fake Profiles doing really? I’ll tell you.
These fake Profiles are set up to Like stuff. There’s a big market in selling Likes, and all the buyers of Likes complicity expect that the Likes they’re buying aren’t really Fans. They’re bots – farms of Profiles set up in Jakarta and Istanbul that wait for an order to come in and react en-mass, Liking the target page in the thousands in a matter of days. It’s really quite cheap, but I’ve got some sad stories beyond the scope of this post around the issue; just don’t buy Fans. You heard it from me.
Beyond Likes, there’s another thing that these bots do that are truly disruptive. You wouldn’t know how disruptive the bots are unless you’ve invested in Facebook ads. That’s all I’m going to say now.
Read more about this phenomenon that mainstream media took too long to report in a blog post I did back in October of last year: Robots, Shills, Payola, Fake Followers and Likes in Social Media’s Wild West.
The things that The Click Whisperer talks about today will be what others talk about tomorrow. Remind your co-workers and colleagues that practice Marketing and Advertising to visit this blog regularly.
Have you encountered Profiles you thought were fake?