Facebook likes are not the only element that should be considered by brands using the social network for marketing purposes, but they still mark the entry point for user interaction, and Facebook is taking steps to automatically remove questionable likes.
The social network announced in a post on its Facebook Security page that it is ramping up its automated efforts to remove likes that were generated via methods that violate its terms of service, at the same time issuing a reminder that the purchase or sale of likes is a no-no.
Facebook said in its post:
A like that doesn’t come from someone truly interested in connecting with a page benefits no one. Real identity, for both users and brands on Facebook, is important to not only Facebook’s mission of helping the world share, but also the need for people and customers to authentically connect to the pages they care about. When a page and fan connect on Facebook, we want to ensure that the connection involves a real person interested in hearing from a specific page and engaging with that brand’s content. As such, we have recently increased our automated efforts to remove likes on pages that may have been gained by means that violate our Facebook terms.
On average, fewer than 1 percent of likes on any given page will be removed, providing they and their affiliates have been abiding by our terms. These newly improved automated efforts will remove those likes gained by malware, compromised accounts, deceived users, or purchased bulk likes. 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.
To be clear, we do not and have never permitted the purchase or sale of Facebook likes, as we only want people connecting to the pages and brands with whom they have chosen to connect. Beyond the need to maintain authentic relationships on Facebook, these third-party vendors often attempt to use malware or other forms of deception to generate fraudulent likes, which is harmful to all users and the Internet as a whole.
These improvements to our site integrity systems benefit both users and brands alike. Users will continue to connect to the pages and profiles they authentically want to subscribe to, and pages will have a more accurate measurement of fan count and demographics. This improvement will allow pages to produce ever more relevant and interesting content, and brands will see an increase in the true engagement around their content.
Readers: Would you like to see more similar measures from Facebook?