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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Fascist Facebook & Fake "Likes" - A Cautionary Tale for Small Businesses

If you asked us what we Hate and Despise the absolute most when it comes to the internet and social communication,  #2 on the list would be Twitter with its structure of condensing conversation and info presentation to 140 characters or less..

Thus one can communicate like "How R U?" & get back a response like "Gud - I'm @ Mall w/ budz" and not sound like two illiterate ignoramuses..

And Number #1 with a bullet..

Facebook..  God how we hate Facebook!

Or as its commonly described around the water cooler, "Clique-book" because unless you're an attractive young female that is well-endowed and place plenty of salacious photos on your profile (and even then no guarantees), the chances anyone you don't know seeking to 'friend' you is next to Zero.

It is merely a way for people who know each other and who don't wish to bother to take a couple minutes out of their day to actually call or email another, to still be able to communicate in the most lazy way humanly possible while FB spies on every keystroke for the NSA

All it takes is a generic post like "Have a great weekend!"  or a quick note to someone directly along the lines of "Thinking of you.. K.I.T"  (Keep in touch) to satisfy the communication obligation.

We have friends and family members like that.. One in particular- a deeply thoughtless and inconsiderate cousin coming to mind deserving of a couple open-hand slaps to the face..  It's a long story..

Bet you have people like that in your life too..  Yep, thought so.
So yes, we at A&G hate and despise Clique-book for that and its fascist-like tendency to freeze accounts any time someone expresses a thought or opinion which may offend another in the slightest.. All they have to do is merely report you anonymously..

We know of people who have had their accounts frozen for a week because they posted comments that were contrarian in political opinion to what was originally posted.  Even the most pretend 'tolerant' never seem to have tolerance for opposing viewpoint..

Also know of people who had their ability to add-request others frozen because they add-requested 5 people in the span of an hour..

Many more horror stories..
So anything we can write about or post which is hurtful and attacking of Facebook and that piece of bleep Zuckerburg who started it, we will happily post..

Including the following..

It seems according to an article at SFGate.com that a lot of Facebook's ad revenue is a result of click fraud.  Businesses pay money to FB to advertise on the site and believing the more "likes" they acquire, the more people their message is getting out to..
But instead the inflated numbers of many pages are due to fake pages and subsequent 'likes'

The rest of this post is from the SFGate.com article and in blue font with any underlines or highlighting done by us, not the original source..

We think its a very interesting read and accurately discredits a terrible company run by an equally terrible person who's company has not had to pay income taxes in the last 2 years even though generating literally Billions in revenue..  
It is also a cautionary tale for small businesses especially looking to use Facebook as a means of expanding their company's overall visibility..

Enjoy..

"Raaj Kapur Brar runs a small but successful empire of online fashion magazines from his base just outside Toronto. Some of his titles are huge online brands, such as Fashion & Style Magazine, which has 1.6 million Facebook fans.

That’s more fans than Elle magazine has.
Recently, however, Brar has fallen out of love with Facebook.   He discovered that his Facebook fanbase was becoming polluted with thousands of fake likes from bogus accounts. 

He can no longer tell the difference between his real fans and the fake ones. Many appear fake because the users have so few friends, are based in developing countries, or have generic profile pictures.

At one point, he had a budget of more than $600,000 for Facebook ad campaigns, he tells us. Now he believes those ads were a waste of time.

Facebook declined multiple requests for comment on this story.
Brar’s take is a cautionary one because Facebook has 25 million small businesses using its platform for one marketing purpose or another. Many of them are not sophisticated advertisers — they are simply plugging a credit card number into the system and hoping for the best. 

This is what can happen if you don’t pay careful attention to contract language, or the live, real-time results your campaigns on Facebook are having.

Here’s how Brar believes it went down: He became interested in advertising on Facebook in 2012, and he took it seriously. He went to Facebook’s local Toronto office where he was trained to use the advertising interface. 
They set up the campaign, and ran a small “beta” test. Then, in late October Brar pulled the trigger on a massive push through Facebook’s Ads Manager. He used Bitly and Google Analytics to measure the number of clicks his campaign was generating.

The results were disastrous, Brar says.

Facebook’s analytics said the campaign sent him five times the number of clicks he was seeing arrive on his sites, which Brar was monitoring with Bitly, Google Analytics, and his own web site’s WordPress dashboard. 
There was a reasonable discrepancy between the Bitly and Google numbers, Brar says, but not the five-fold margin between Google’s and Facebook’s click counts.

At one point, data from Facebook indicated his ads had delivered 606,000 clicks, but the site itself registered only 160,000 incoming clicks from Facebook, according to data supplied by Brar. 

“I don’t know what to say, right? This is a huge loss. This ran for four days, then we just stopped the campaign,” Brar says.

Then, things got worse. Even though Brar wasn’t advertising, the likes and new followers kept on piling up. 
Normally, an advertiser would be pleased at such a result, but every time Brar checked a sample of the new fans he found people with dubious names; a picture of a flower as a profile shot; and fewer than 10 friends — classic signs of a fake profile.

Naturally, Brar began disputing his bill with Facebook. He wanted his clicks audited by a third party, to see how many were genuine. 

Then he discovered that Facebook’s terms of service forbid third-party verification of its clicks. 

That’s something all advertisers should be aware of before they spend a penny on Facebook: Facebook has operated this way for a long time, and has a page for advertisers explaining in more depth why third-party click reporting may not match Facebook’s click counts. 
Essentially, Facebook suggests, if clicks are not measured in exactly the same way over the same time intervals then there will always be discrepancies.

Facebook is different from the rest of the online ad industry, which follows a standard of allowing click audits by third parties like the IAB, the Media Ratings Council or Ernst & Young."

Facebook does as it wants and until people break free from it, will continue to intrude into every aspect of a person's life...  All under the ruse of convenience and work time diversion.