Tracker Pixel for Entry

​My (fake) Facebook friends

Culture | May 9th, 2013

Cover by Raul Gomez

By Diane Miller

Last September, the world’s most popular social media website removed millions of fake “likes” and accounts from its network.

According to a Facebook Security statement: “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. As such, we have recently increased our automated efforts to remove Likes on Pages that may have been gained by means that violate our Terms.”

Last December, YouTube, the world’s most popular video website, removed 2 billion fake/unintentional views.

According to a statement made by the YouTube’s Official Partners and Creators Blog: “A view should be a metric that reflects genuine user interest. In other words, a viewer has a choice, and that choice determines whether or not we count something as a view. It shouldn’t be a gauge of how many people accidentally or unintentionally ended up watching your video.”

PC Magazine says there are an estimated 83 million Facebook accounts that violate Facebook’s terms of service, including accounts used for spamming and duplicate accounts.

And yes, it’s possible to be tricked into “liking” pages and viewing videos. It’s also possible for pages to gain “likes” and views through malware.

Not to mention, there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of websites that sell “likes” and views. For example, bestyoutubepromotion.com will add 5,000 views to your YouTube video for $10. Most of these sites are considered “dangerous” by Internet security software.

Why would some companies, musicians or individuals go to such lengths to gain virtual popularity?

Well, Justin Bieber, one of the biggest pop stars on the planet, was discovered because of YouTube. And there is no way his videos only had a few thousand hits.

And doesn’t having tons of Facebook “likes” usually mean an organization, band or individual is well known or respected – or least, shouldn’t it?

For example, if a popular company like Scheels only had around 1,000 “likes” on its Facebook page, many of us would think it was unofficial site or fan site.

Or say we were searching for the official YouTube video for Taylor Swift’s “Teardrops on My Guitar.” If it only had 10,000 views, we’d think it was karaoke track or something – because its offical video has nearly 50 million views.

If any smaller organization miraculously got 100 likes on its page in one day, it would probably celebrate. If any band’s YouTube video went viral, they would probably go bonkers.

So if a company really believes in its product and has the chance to spread the word about it at a faster-than-normal pace, why not discover a few easy tricks to gain more online popularity?

Take “Smug Pop,” a “record label,” for example. The company thinks it has an absolutely, fabulously, without a doubt stellar roster of bands. The company knows people would go nuts for Sailor Harry’s alt-country jam “Bump Into Me” or The Valley Bat’s killer psych-pop tune “Wonder Mall.”

Smug Pop’s artists have a limited, though highly dedicated, fan base. So what better way to gain a little momentum then by significantly increasing the bands’ social media presence?

Smug Pop argues that adding fake “likes” and views is the same as buying advertising. Besides, the record label would not change its product one bit. And its intentions are great: gaining more recognition for its talented roster.

Social media sites, on the other hand, would argue that this is precisely how people program themselves to cheat. People think: “I deserve it” or “I’ve earned this.”

Smug Pop would essentially be cheating music fans into believing it earned something that usually takes other record labels years of real work, dedication and competence to achieve.

Social media says it’s manipulative and unethical.

Facebook’s Help Center alerts: “If Facebook's spam systems detect that your Page is connected to this type of activity, we'll place limits on your Page to prevent further violations of our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.”

YouTube’s Creator Blog warns: “Ignorance of bad traffic or other actions taken on your behalf may lead to your account being removed from YouTube.”

Because of these reasons, most organizations don’t even bother buying online popularity. Though there are other ways to arguably cheat to gain online popularity:

1.If someone denies your request, keep sending him or her more and more requests until they finally give in.

2.Start with just a regular Facebook profile and add as many “friends” as possible, then convert to a page. Facebook will turn all your “friends” into “fans.” People are way more likely to add “friends” than “like” pages.

3.Adding an outrageous and/or misleading title for your video.

4.Log in under a fake account and post negative reviews or comments on a competitor’s site.

Then there are standard ways:

1. “Invite” friends.

2. Buy real ads.

3. Post links.

4. Use incentives.

5. Always be improving your business or band.

Recently in:

By Maddie Robinsonmaddierobi.mr@gmail.com This article discusses topics related to mental health and suicide. If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or visit 988lifeline.org. …

Homesteading stories shared by late local historianBy Michael M. Millermichael.miller@ndsu.edu The 53rd Germans from Russia Heritage Society Convention convenes July 17-20 at the Baymont Hotel in Mandan, North Dakota. For further…

With Javier Quiroz and Kohlrabi SoupJuly 10 at 7 p.m.The Aquarium226 N. Broadway, Fargo (above Dempsey’s)The Wall Street Journal had this to say about “Black Banjo,” Tray Wellington’s full-length debut: “This is a record…

The WFF Unified School District?By John Strandjas@hpr1.com Both the Fargo and West Fargo School Districts are strategizing their futures. This is necessary, because of immensely challenging financial and geopolitical changes facing…

By Ed Raymondfargogadfly@gmail.comShould ‘The Chosen One’ be Sentenced to Spend Months at each Level?It’s not unusual on this planet, we have had hundreds of men and a couple of women who have used religion to become…

By Rick Gionrickgion@gmail.com Holiday wine shopping shouldn’t have to be complicated. But unfortunately it can cause unneeded anxiety due to an overabundance of choices. Don’t fret my friends, we once again have you covered…

By Rick Gionrickgion@gmail.com In this land of hotdish and ham, the knoephla soup of German-Russian heritage seems to reign supreme. In my opinion though, the French have the superior soup. With a cheesy top layer, toasted baguette…

HPR chats with Bob Carpenter of the Nitty Gritty Dirt BandBy Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.com When asked if it was fair to consider the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band as “the godfathers of contemporary Americana” during our interview,…

Now playing at the Fargo Theatre.By Greg Carlson gregcarlson1@gmail.comPalme d’Or recipient “Anatomy of a Fall” is now enjoying an award-season victory tour, recently picking up Golden Globe wins for both screenplay and…

New Minnesota sculptures include artist’s largest trollBy Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.com According to Danish artist and environmental activist Thomas Dambo, “All trash is treasure.” So far, he and his team have built 138…

By John Showalterjohn.d.showalter@gmail.comHigh Plains Reader had the opportunity to interview two mysterious new game show hosts named Milt and Bradley Barker about an upcoming event they will be putting on at Brewhalla. What…

By Annie Prafckeannieprafcke@gmail.com AUSTIN, Texas – As a Chinese-American, connecting to my culture through food is essential, and no dish brings me back to my mother’s kitchen quite like hotdish. Yes, you heard me right –…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comNew Jamestown Brewery Serves up Local FlavorThere’s something delicious brewing out here on the prairie and it just so happens to be the newest brewery west of the Red River and east of the…

By John Showalter  john.d.showalter@gmail.comThey sell fentanyl test strips and kits to harm-reduction organizations and…

JANUARY 19, 1967– MARCH 8, 2023 Brittney Leigh Goodman, 56, of Fargo, N.D., passed away unexpectedly at her home on March 8, 2023. Brittney was born January 19, 1967, to Ruth Wilson Pollock and Donald Ray Goodman, in Hardinsburg,…

By Jim Fugliejimfuglie920@gmail.comMy articles here are about politics. I’m writing this before the North Dakota primary election. You are reading it after the primary. Advantage: readers. So I won’t speculate much on that…