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BizReport : Social Marketing : September 03, 2012

Updated integrity system detects and deletes fake Facebook Likes

Facebook has updated its integrity system to automatically detect and delete 'fake' Likes, benefiting both the brands that use the site and the social network's users.

by Helen Leggatt

Facebook Pages will soon more accurately reflect the demographics of users and have a more accurate Fan count, according to a new announcement on the Facebook blog. That's because the social network has updated its integrity system to detect and delete Likes that come from purchased bulk Likes, malware, hacked accounts or deceived users.

"When a Page and fan connect on Facebook, we want to ensure that connection involves a real person interested in hearing from a specific Page and engaging with that brand's content," says Facebook on its Security Page. "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."

As well as ensuring that Facebook users connect only to brands and Pages they authentically like, the move will enable more accurate demographics for brands and, consequently, the ability to produce more relevant and engaging content.

"On average, less than 1% of Likes on any given Page will be removed, providing they and their affiliates have been abiding by our terms," says Facebook. "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."

In the social network's latest quarterly report it revealed that the number of accounts that violate its terms of service, such as 'duplicate' and 'false' ('user-misclassified' and 'undesirable accounts'), had risen sharply since the first quarter.

The company estimates that the number of dodgy accounts now stands at 8.7% of worldwide monthly active users, or just over 83 million accounts, of which 4.8% are 'duplicates' and 3.9% are 'false'. At the end of the first quarter, Facebook estimated the number to be 5-6% overall.

Tags: brand management, demographics, fake accounts, integrity, malware, metrics, social media, social network

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