Facebook labors at restoring integrity of “Likes” for fair advertising

Facebook Inc is culling out the fake “Likes” on its giant social networking site reportedly used by blackmarketeers, spammers and malware even as it comes to terms with maintaining its credibility as an “authentic” advertising platform.

After the cleanup, Facebook says, the number of the Likes, or user endorsements, on corporate pages could fall at most by 1 percent, on average.

The automated efforts will weed out the Likes garnered by spam, malware, compromised accounts, purchase bulk Lies and deceived users.

Given the growth of black market globally, companies can instantly raise their profile on Facebook by purchasing thousands of Likes, a practice Facebook forbids as it makes the “Likes” questionable means of brand promotion.

This, on analysis, shows maintaining the integrity of the Likes is crucial for Facebook as it relies on the revenues from advertising from major brands and businesses. Majority of the ad campaigns conducted by businesses on Facebook are intended to earn Likes, essential for showing companies’ marketing messages have gone well with the users.

A number of the Likes originate from phony Facebook user accounts, the company said. On its official blog, Facebook posted: “Newly improved automated efforts will remove those Likes gained by malware, compromised accounts, deceived users, or purchased bulk Likes.”

Several spam-like programs on the giant social networking sites mislead users into liking something unknowingly whenever they perform an action such as clicking to watch a video, according to reports.

“While we have always had dedicated protections against each of these threats on Facebook, these improved systems have been specifically configured to identify and take action against suspicious Likes,” Facbook said.

The crackdown is intended to benefit the users and the companies that maintain pages on the social network as it will ensure more accurate fan account and demographic measurements are made.

The problem is however not unique for Facebook as Google and Twitter also come to grips with the spam and fake accounts, reports The News.

Some 1.5 percent of the social site’s users had “undesirable” accounts opened for purposes that violate the site’s terms of service, according to Facebook’s recent 10-Q regulatory filing.

“Facebook was built on the principle of real identity and we want this same authenticity to extend to Pages. We undoubtedly expect that this will be a positive change for anyone using Facebook, and we look forward to helping even more people share and connect with the friends and brands they care about,” Facebook said.

Facebook is currently the leading social networking site with an estimated 955 million active subscribers worldwide. Around 40.2 million are from Africa, as of March 31, 2012.

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