Facebook steps up battle on 'fake likes'

October 3, 2014
A view of the entrance to the Facebook main campus in Menlo Park, California on May 15, 2012

Facebook said Friday it has stepped up its battle against spammers who promise to deliver "likes" to its members, and warned users on using such scams.

The world's most popular social network said that to date, it has obtained legal judgments of nearly $2 billion against fraudulent activities on Facebook. It was not clear how much of that was actually collected.

Facebook's moves appeared to counter concerns that users—including politicians and companies selling products—are buying "" to make them appear more popular. And it is targeting a cottage industry which seeks to deliver these results to Facebook members, often promising "10,000 likes" or more for a fee.

"We write rules and use machine learning to catch suspicious behavior that sticks out. When we catch fraudulent activity, we work to counter and prevent it, including blocking accounts and removing fake likes all at once," Facebook site integrity engineer Matt Jones said in a blog post.

"As our tools have become more sophisticated, we've contributed some of our spam-fighting technology to the academic community as well, in hopes of helping other companies combat similar problems."

Jones said that Facebook if necessary takes the spammers to court "to remind would-be offenders that we will fight back to prevent abuse on our platform. We also limit likes per account to make ' operations less efficient."

Jones said the moves are aimed at preserving authenticity on the network of more than one billion members. Facebook uses various techniques including algorithms to detect when there is a suspicious spike in "likes."

"It's important to remember that fraudulent activity is bad for everyone—including page owners, advertisers, Facebook and people on our platform," he said.

"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."

Explore further: Facebook cracks down on insincere "Likes"

Related Stories

Facebook cracks down on insincere "Likes"

September 1, 2012

Facebook ramped up efforts Friday to get rid of "Likes" that aren't from people genuinely interested in giving a virtual thumbs up to pages at the world's leading social network.

Facebook rolls out 'privacy checkup'

September 5, 2014

Facebook on Thursday began rolling out its "privacy checkup" aimed at helping users of the huge social network better manage sharing their information and postings.

Facebook 'Likes' a good indicator of quality hospital care

March 1, 2013

While those active on social media aren't shy about expressing opinions on their Facebook pages, how much do their "Likes" really reflect the quality of an organization? American Journal of Medical Quality recently published ...

Humanitarian liking on Facebook

June 9, 2014

"Liking" a page on the social networking site Facebook is a new form of civic engagement and humanitarian support, so concludes research published in the International Journal of Web Based Communities. According to the paper's ...

Recommended for you

Technology near for real-time TV political fact checks

January 18, 2019

A Duke University team expects to have a product available for election year that will allow television networks to offer real-time fact checks onscreen when a politician makes a questionable claim during a speech or debate.

Privacy becomes a selling point at tech show

January 7, 2019

Apple is not among the exhibitors at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, but that didn't prevent the iPhone maker from sending a message to attendees on a large billboard.

China's Huawei unveils chip for global big data market

January 7, 2019

Huawei Technologies Ltd. showed off a new processor chip for data centers and cloud computing Monday, expanding into new and growing markets despite Western warnings the company might be a security risk.

4 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

SciTechdude
5 / 5 (2) Oct 03, 2014
Yeah, but what are they going to do about their own Paid Likes, which are just as fake, only the money goes to Facebook instead? Oh, nothing I guess. They just don't want competition in the fake liking department. It might bring prices down for them.
Noumenon
2.3 / 5 (3) Oct 04, 2014
Phys.Org has a similar problem with drive-by 1-raters. If they disabled the "like / rating" buttons altogether, it may encourage more thoughtful responses. As it is, any dolt can register their disapproval without ever having to articulate a counter argument. And it's evident that these same troll 1-raters are not making use of the comment slider either in anycase.
DDBear
5 / 5 (1) Oct 04, 2014
Facebook has created a currency from Likes, but without any real anti-counterfeiting technology that is present in even the most basic government currency. This is typical of all these companies, they get rich by coming up with systems that don't cost much to develop because the security sucks, and then complain later that people find a way around their weak security.
NOM
5 / 5 (1) Oct 07, 2014
Phys.Org has a similar problem with drive-by 1-raters. If they disabled the "like / rating" buttons altogether, it may encourage more thoughtful responses. As it is, any dolt can register their disapproval without ever having to articulate a counter argument. And it's evident that these same troll 1-raters are not making use of the comment slider either in anycase.
Says someone with about 50 sock-puppet voting accounts.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.