A number of Facebook pages are about to get less popular. The social network is cracking down on “Likes” that come from spambots, which are not known for their discerning tastes in entertainment or products. Despite this lack of refinement, bots have proven plenty capable of espousing positive opinions about…well, pretty much anything programmers tell them to. Concerned about the effect these fraudulent recommendations may have on the accuracy of their data, Facebook is bringing down the hammer in an attempt to ensure that only actual people are liking things their pages.
Overly liked pages are a concern for the company because it calls into question the worth of their database of people and their tastes. Being that this is the one and only product Facebook — and a number of other companies on the web — has to sell advertisers, maintaining the integrity of that data is a paramount concern for Zuckerberg and company. If their data about what people like and dislike isn’t reliable, the company quickly runs out of things to offer its base of advertisers. After all, while a spambot is perfectly capable of liking things, the purchasing power of those programs is notoriously limited… for now.
In addition to going after likes from spambots, which are pretty rare on the site, Facebook will also be deleting likes that come from compromised user accounts, from misleading ads that cause users to accidentally like a page, and to likes that were purchased in bulk, a practice the company has never endorsed.
All said and done, the company expects less than 1% of “Likes” to be affected by this latest swing of the banhammer. You can read the full statement from Facebook’s security team here.
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