Just as the social networking monolith hits a landmark 1 billion users, Facebook has had to admit it really does have a fake “like” problem. The fake clicks may well be hardwired into Facebook’s architecture at the moment, based on discoveries about the nature of false clicks. The BBC reports:
A US security researcher found that simply sending a web address to a friend using Facebook’s private messaging function would add two likes to that page.
Leaving a comment on a story within Facebook also adds to the tally.
Facebook told the BBC that the problem was due to a “bug” in social plug-ins that sometimes automatically inflates counts of shares and likes. Facebook was quick to deny the fake votes compromised any personal user information and the BBC reported it also denied that the site’s overall total of 1.13 trillion likes was affected by the problem.
One of the best questions any researcher has asked about the issue came from an expert interviewed by the BBC, who wondered, “What else is being done automatically that we don’t know about?”
As a recent social media panic demonstrated, that question may frequently occur in some form to a large percentage of Facebook’s massive user base.