Recently, a glitch on Facebook was uncovered that even further calls into question the legitimacy of Facebook “Likes,” particularly as a means to track user interest. As reported by Business Insider, whenever you send a message to a friend on Facebook containing a URL, Facebook scans that URL and increases the number of Facebook “Likes” on that page.
Now, Facebook is clearly aware that fake “Likes” are a problem on its site; it has recently launched a massive initiative to purge fake users and fake “Likes.” However, it appears that the problem is not entirely an external one.
Business Insider tested the glitch, with one user sending a Facebook user to another linking to a little-read page on the publication’s website. Sure enough, one page visit through the message’s URL somehow generated two Facebook “Likes.” Here’s what a spokesperson for Facebook told the site:
“This counter reflects the number of times people have clicked those buttons and also the number of times people have shared that page’s link on Facebook. We did recently find a bug with our social plugins where at times the count for the Share or Like goes up by two, and we are working on a fix to solve the issue now. To be clear, this only affects social plugins off of Facebook and is not related to Facebook Page likes.”
Let’s hope Facebook fixes this glitch soon. Handing out “Likes” for basically no reason seems like a pretty disingenuous practice.
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