Facebook fake likes crackdown: Fake accounts purged

(CNN) -- If it looks like lots of Facebook pages are shedding fans, it's because they are.

But, then again, they aren't.

Facebook has begun a purge of fake accounts and "Likes" as part of a set of site improvements announced last month. The result has been lower numbers on fan pages, including some of the site's most popular ones, but no actual loss of real followers.

On August 31, Facebook announced plans for improvements to its "site integrity systems." That, according to a blog post, included increased automated efforts to sniff out and delete fake accounts or Likes that had been illicitly sold or gained by otherwise shady means.

"A Like that doesn't come from someone truly interested in connecting with a Page benefits no one ...," the post read. "When a Page and fan connect on Facebook, we want to ensure that connection involves a real person interested in hearing from a specific Page and engaging with that brand's content."

On Thursday morning, Zynga's Texas HoldEm Poker page had lost almost 200,000 Likes since Tuesday, according to Facebook analytics site PageData. Pop star Lady Gaga lost about 66,000 during that same two-day span, and "The Simpsons" dropped about 21,000.

Facebook confirmed to CNN that the slipping Likes numbers are part of the site upgrade.

The company said pages that have been abiding by its rules should expect no more than a 1% dip in Likes. Even Zynga's big drop represented only roughly .3% of the more than 65 million people who like that poker page.

Facebook's purge targets inauthentic Likes created a number of ways. Some are caused by malware. Others happen when a user is deceived into "liking" something they may have not intended to like.

In its post, Facebook said it has never allowed Likes to be sold, but that it has caught third-party vendors trying to use malware and other forms of deception to do just that. Similar problems have plagued Twitter, where automated systems have tried to inflate users' follower counts.

"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," Facebook said.
 
™ & © 2012 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.


Comments

Read more

Dog walks again... on artificial limbs Dog walks again... on artificial limbs

Brutus, a 2-year old Rottweiler, is walking again thanks to modern technology and months of training. He's said to be only the second dog ever known to have four prosthetic limbs.

Amber Dlaine McKinney Morgan: CHP busts window to wake passed out driver Amber Dlaine McKinney Morgan: CHP busts window to wake passed out driver

 A woman believed to be drunk passed out at the wheel on Interstate 805 early Friday morning and not even a CHP officer banging on her window could wake her up.

Viet Tran, Seth Robertson: George Mason students use sound waves to extinguish fire Viet Tran, Seth Robertson: George Mason students use sound waves to extinguish fire

Fire extinguisher uses sound to blast flames.

VIDEO: Worst firefighter ever? Sprays water over burning house VIDEO: Worst firefighter ever? Sprays water over burning house

This house fire in Tennessee had the unfortunate luck of getting the worst firefighter ever on their case, as he blindly sprayed his hose straight over the house and the fire that was engulfing it.

Rachel Hollis, The Chic Site: Mom Rachel Hollis, The Chic Site: Mom's bikini picture with encouraging message for women goes viral

A post by mom and author, Rachel Hollis, has gone viral.

Joseph Amorese: New York scratch-off lottery ticket in a get-well card worth $7 million Joseph Amorese: New York scratch-off lottery ticket in a get-well card worth $7 million

Pennsylvania man gets a big surprise in his get well card.

Cardboard Cardboard 'most interesting man' fails as carpool-lane ruse

A Washington State Patrol trooper says it's by far the best carpool scam he's seen, but it didn't work.

Bus falls into massive hole in Brazil, carried away by flood waters (VIDEO) Bus falls into massive hole in Brazil, carried away by flood waters (VIDEO)

A bus was caught on tape Monday falling through a large crater that had formed in a road in northern Brazil.

Elephant hauler gets stuck; pachyderms keep truck upright Elephant hauler gets stuck; pachyderms keep truck upright

Louisiana authorities responding to a tractor-trailer stuck on the muddy shoulder of a highway were astounded to see what was keeping it from overturning: elephants.

Pre-approving prom dresses? Pre-approving prom dresses?

Picking out prom dress is always a big decision for young ladies. Now one Pennsylvania Catholic school is getting in on the act.