How brands and bloggers are faking their SM rankings

I’ve been hearing about bloggers faking their stats for about 6 months now but it didn’t occur to me that brands do it as well, until now. Companies have been sussed manipulating their social media rankings on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube by paying ‘click farms’ based in Daka Bangladesh. It only costs a few dollars for their pages to get thousands of likes, follows and views. The people working in these offices have thousands of fake accounts they constantly log in and out of all night, so several thousands likes can be obtained in a 2-3 hours!

Now, ethically I think this is a pretty shitty thing to do as it can make other contending brands/blogs look they are failing in comparison. Personally I wouldn’t ever do it for the two reasons: I would feel like I was just cheating myself and waisting all the hard work I’ve put into my blog. Secondly and more importantly, you are basing every relationship you have, be it with brands or other bloggers or your career in some cases, on a total lie.

Image: theguardian.com

Image: theguardian.com

From a legal stand point it can also come under false branding/advertising, as many people look at how popular a page is to gage if they can trust it or not. I’ve looked for a page on facebook and several have come up with very similar names so I’ve followed the one that’s got thousands of followers as that’s obviously the official page, right? Not necessarily the case. I will be paying sites a lot more attention before I follow them or give them my details for competitions etc.

A documentary by Dispatches called Celebs, Brands and Fake Fans will explore this and other new online trends.

It’s on tonight on channel 4 at 8:00pm

21 thoughts on “How brands and bloggers are faking their SM rankings

  1. I just posted a comment but as it doesn’t appear here I assume that it got swallowed by the dreaded spam pit so I’m reposting as follows: I didn’t know that this kind of thing happened. I must have been living with my head in a bucket! I’m sorry that I missed the programme. Getting likes provides a great sense of satisfaction so I find it difficult to comprehend why people would lie to themselves by deliberately generating false likes.

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  2. I didn’t know that this kind of thing happened. I must have been living with my head in a bucket! I’m sorry that I missed the programme. Getting likes provides a great sense of satisfaction so I find it difficult to comprehend why people would lie to themselves by deliberately generating false likes.

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  3. A really important point you’re talking about here. I think it reminds every blogger about staying true to themselfs and not compair to anyone else. It’s not about numbers, it’s about the content & real ppl who are standing behind you and supporting you with their presence and comments.

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  4. I watched this documentary and I thought it raised a lot of interesting points although it didn’t really explain how you buy likes, or why Facebook allow this. I think that there is a movement within social media to look beyond bald statistics and more into quality of engagement. A page having 5,000 fans has very little meaning if those people never engage (and are probably false profiles in the first place). Far better to have 100 fans who read your updates, engage with them and share them with their networks.

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  5. I’m assuming the reason bloggers would do it is if they get paid to have ads on their websites. Companies that choose bloggers to do business with and pay for ad hosting look at “likes” and comments. However, it seems kind of stupid to pay for a spike in activity to get paid to host ads. I personally would never do it. That documentary sounds intriguing; thanks for sharing.

    http://veggiesandglitter.com

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