By Alexandra Burlacu | Sep 01, 2012 01:45 PM EDT
Facebook has acknowledged that some of the "Likes" on various Facebook pages might not be from genuine fans, and the company is now taking steps in this regard. According to a blog post on Friday, Aug. 31, announcing the move, the company is working on removing Likes on pages that "may have been gained by means that violate our Facebook Terms."
With this new effort, Facebook hopes to remove Likes gained by malware, compromised accounts, fake users, or Likes purchased in bulk. The social networking site already had measures designed to detect such attempts to trick the system, but is now stepping up its efforts. The "improved systems have been specifically configured to identify and take action against suspicious Likes," said Facebook.
Facebook takes pride in its principle of "real identity," and wants the same authenticity for its pages as well. It will only remove Likes from members that have not abided by Facebook Terms. "On average, less than 1 percent of likes on any given page will be removed," said the social networking giant.
"Improvements to our site integrity 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 more accurate measurement of fan count and demographics," explained the company. "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."
"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," Facebook explained.
"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."
Despite its best efforts, Facebook has admitted earlier this year that roughly 5-6 percent of its users might actually be fake accounts. That would translate to nearly 54 million fake Facebook profiles, and many times that number of fake Likes from those users.
As part of an investigation, the BBC set up a fake company called "Virtual Bagel Ltd." and found that many Likes appear to come from users located in countries such as Egypt and the Philippines.
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