In an effort to appease advertisers, Facebook is cleaning up its fake "like" problem, which actually doesn't sound like it will do much of anything to boost the credibility of a like. The good news is that Facebook will get rid of faux likes that come from malware, compromised accounts, deceived users, or ones that were purchased in bulk, as a post on the site explains. As AllThingsD's Peter Kafka notes, this is important because it will make potential ad buyers happy. "Facebook has told brands that 'Likes' are the key way to engage with consumers — collect 'Likes' and you are collecting people who will listen to what you have to say. So, artificial 'Likes' screw up that metric," he writes.
That's true, and so by some math property somewhere no more zombie likes will result in happier brands. But, those only make up 1 percent of all likes, Facebook said in that same post. While the idea behind the effort is admirable, we imagine advertisers are far more concerned with the other 99 percent of likes, which at this point aren't so genuine either.
As far as advertisers are concerned even the most earnest likes don't mean much, as we discussed the other day. Facebook has said it is moving away from the like as a metric for advertising altogether. So this move looks more like a PR move, a way to say, "look we're cleaning up this relatively benign issue," than anything more substantial.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.