Facebook strips 200,000 pages of fake ‘likes’ in latest authenticity drive

Reuters / Beck Diefenbach
Facebook says its “new recognition technologies” allowed it to triple the number of detected and blocked fake ‘likes’ over the last six months, and drive many ‘bad actors’ selling ‘likes’ out of business.

Those blocked ‘likes’ were dealt with “before they ever reached a page,” Facebook site security engineer H. Kerem Cevahir specified in a blog post on Friday.

The social network has, according to him, already removed bogus ‘likes’ from 200,000 pages since March. Page administrators were notified of the fact and advised on how to “gather authentic fans.”

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"New advances in our pattern recognition technologies helped us halt many of the major exchanges that promote fake like activity on Facebook originating from click farms, fake accounts and malware," Cevahir said.

"This work has made it extremely difficult for the people selling fraudulent likes to actually deliver their promised likes to paying customers," he added.

Fake ‘likes’ on the social network always refer to external services that sell so-called ‘like packages’ for a flat fee.

They can be created in three ways, as Facebook security guidelines indicate: first, there are click farms, where individuals are paid to ‘like’ a certain page.

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Second, there are fake accounts that don’t represent real people. Finally, there are self-compromised and compromised accounts: in this case, accounts are infected with malware – with or without users’ consent.

Facebook has said its battle with fake ‘likes’ is going well, and many vendors “that were attempting to sell inauthentic likes to Facebook Page administrators have closed their businesses.”