The Philippines has been named as one of the main sources for click farms, responsible for generating fake likes for brands on social networks such as Facebook and YouTube, according to new research.
Much has been written recently about how click farms are generating fake likes in brands profiles. In some cases these click farms get paid to create non-real relationships between fake personal profiles (controlled by humans rather than robots) and brands.
But what’s even more worrying is that the people managing this millions of Facebook profiles are also “liking” brands profiles without getting paid for it- as new research has revealed. They usually like brands that are spending their advertising budgets to increase reach in Facebook.
Apparently, the reason for this confusing behaviour is that by doing so they succeed at not being detected as click farms, they just click at everything they can, in some case they get paid, in other cases they don’t but their profiles become almost undetectable.
The consequence for brands is that they waste advertising money on likes from fake profiles, and they don’t really know what their reach is and their engagement data is completely meaningless because those fake profiles never bother to engage with any brand posting.
Unfortunately there is not an easy fix for this practise. Analysing every profile that has liked our brand profile is a hard and tedious work and there is no automatic fix yet.
A recent research done by Derek Muller and several comments that have appeared afterwards show that Philippines is one of the main hosts of these Facebook click farms.
In the list Egypt, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nepal and Sri Lank are also at the top of the list.
What does this mean in practical terms? It means that if your brand has a disproportionate % of likes from those countries there is a very high chance of you having many fake likes. Therefore your real reach numbers will be lower than what you see. And it also means that your real engagement data will be higher than the data you see. How much? There is no way of knowing, yet.