About six months ago I began to see a trend on Facebook of my connections liking posts that seemed completely ridiculous. It started with, “like this post if you love classic cars” and has now evolved into, “like this post if you are alive”. Okay, maybe that example is a little drastic, but Facebook “like” spam is out of control and you are probably contributing. For those that don’t know how it works, it’s actually pretty simple.
1) Someone creates a page on Facebook with some type of target in mind. For example, below is a Facebook page called “LEGGINGS” that has 338,000 likes.
2) After they create the page, they make a bunch of Facebook posts (almost always with images) that people will end up clicking “like” on.
3) They gather “likes” until they hit a goal of say, 338,000 likes.
4) They sell the Facebook page on a service like Pagehogs.com. (See page listing Below)
5) The individual who purchases the page is able to change the information of the page. Everything from the name of the page, to the images on the page, everything can be altered. In addition to that, certain services can take personal user information out of Facebook to use for other purposes and you are much more likely to see the Facebook advertising that the new page creates.
Do I have your attention now?
At this point you might be thinking, “Well maybe a lot of people really like leggings”. I am going to disprove that idea by pointing to the actual posts of this Facebook page. Do they have a lot of pictures of leggings? Yes, but you will also notice a large amount of pictures with celebrities and also ones that are just focused on fashion. This isn’t on accident; let’s think about the demographic of the page for a moment. According to the analytics of the Facebook page, I can see that the majority of the likes are 18-24 year olds and I would bet that greater than 90% of those are females. With that being said, it is likely that the individuals who like this page also happen to like celebrities, the color pink, and fashion. It should be noted that technically all of these images should be given attribution, but for some reason that doesn’t seem to really matter on social media. If you are wondering, I have already answered what attribution is for those who don’t know.
The next time that you see a picture of a hurt animal, someone who has cancer and wants you to like the page, a quote that really tugs on your heart strings, or a post that talks about pride for the American military or America as a whole, please either ignore it or click into the page to see if the owner of the page is just gathering likes. Facebook like spam has gotten out of control and people need to be more mindful of what they are doing on Facebook. As I mentioned above, once a new company swoops in and buys the page they now have access to your personal Facebook account information and any Facebook privacy settings change can really throw a loop in what information is shared from your Facebook profile.
Go easy on the Facebook likes moving forward folks, you’re just giving someone your data.