SOCIAL media has, in recent years, taken off like goodness knows what. You’ll struggle to find somebody nowadays that doesn’t have SOME form of social media platform under their name, whether it be Facebook, Tumblr or even Linked In. Our world might be a pretty big place, but it sure doesn’t feel it when you’re chatting to Great Aunt Norma in Sydney via Facebook Chat.
Keeping in the loop with friends, family, news, celeb gossip and more is an integrated and almost expected factor of life on the internet, and more and more people are taking to social media sites to get their fix of ‘in the know’.
Facebook. Ah, the giant that keeps us all connected; allowing people to stalk to their hearts content with absolutely nobody knowing (unless you accidentally type their name in the status box, not the search one… ever done that? No, me neither…..) If I think about it too much, I get a little creeped out. I mean, somebody gawping over things I have on FB isn’t a nice thought.
But that’s not all it’s used for. Channel 4 have launched a special report they’ve named Data Baby. By creating a authentic Facebook user, by the name of Rebecca Taylor, they have been surfing the wild world wide web to find out exactly how what we do online is monitored, recorded, and what is then done with that data.
I saw this on the news tonight, and I was shocked at what I saw… Likes. We all know what they are. Coincidence, as I was listening to Radio 1 this week and tuned into a conversation about why the LIKE button should be renamed, to something less offensive as ‘acknowledged’. I mean, nobody likes having their boyfriend’s new profile picture to be liked by tens of others of girls, do they?
But anyway, I digress. The Data Baby report has outed the lucrative and worldwide industry of the farming, stealing and transporting of our like clicks. That’s right, they found that there were hundreds of sites that are selling Facebook likes, ‘to make any Facebook business page more credible’. REALLY?
I’ll tell you why this bothers me so. When I look at a page, for a company or business that I’m considering working with, I look at their likes. To see how many happy customers and people who have used them before. I don’t want to see a number just plucked out of thin air. But are they?
Having set up a Facebook business page for a cake company, Channel 4 then went about finding out how to get into this market of likes. With hundreds of websites offering more likes, therefore more legitimacy for your company, it’s not difficult to get those numbers of likes soaring in no time.
And where do THEY come from? Well, unwitting other Facebook users, that’s who. They interview a lady who has a page for her cooking school, and she comes across some rather naughty page likes (she claims she didn’t click that button herself…) But there was hundreds of pages, and she had no idea they were there. Turns out, these sites are getting them from others without them knowing. Cheeky shits.
So kids, take from this what you will. Maybe check your Facebook page likes from time to time. Although perhaps that Sex Tips page like on your profile, WASN’T a mistake after all… 😉
More info from http://www.channel4.com/news/facebook-likes-hacking-fan-data-internet-how