Fake Friends and the Zombie Facebook Apocalypse
I manage Social Media Club Nashville's Facebook Group page and have noticed more and more requests to join the group from fake Facebook profiles. It has gotten to the point that I have to look at each one to see if it is someone in the Middle East that just opened a Facebook page within the last week and has no friends or photos aside from their smiling profile pic.
Here are the common things I've noticed from the fakers AKA Facebook Zombies:
- They join a lot of groups and community interest pages
- They did not fill out the about section
- They "like" a ton of pages all within a small time frame, sometimes even hundreds within as little as fifteen minutes
- They do not have any interactions, such as comments back and forth with others
What are these Facebook Zombies up to? Do they exist so that brands can "up their numbers" of followers? Remember, we're measuring ENGAGEMENT in social media, so there's no need to buy likes and followers. (Please pardon me while I rant) It's the same concept that Google has hit the slimy SEO companies with - back when link building was all the rage and all these random fake websites were being created just to get SEO credit. Google has gotten smarter and put an end to link schemes with its zoo of penguin and panda updates to Google search algorithms.
So, how will Facebook handle the Facebook Zombie Apocalypse? I wonder if there will be some filters put in place to stop these Zombies from attacking innocent group, community, and brand pages. According to Facebook, "We don't allow accounts that:
- Pretend to be you or someone else
- Use your photos
- List a fake name
- Don't represent a real person (fake accounts)"
I found an interesting theory from Missing Marble on the Zombie Facebook LikeBot Apocalypse that points out that these zombies could be a revenue stream for Facebook because of its structure with Facebook Advertising:
Missing Marble writes, "After all, what possible incentive does Facebook have to clean up these accounts? Every time one of my Pages gets a Like from a Zombie account, Facebook makes money. Zombie accounts are a Facebook revenue source – the perfect crime committed by someone else that puts money in their pocket." The blog article goes on to make the smart statement to ignore these zombies and take the high road "I do need to increase the social reach of my Pages, and I do need to connect with my true target market." Good for them!
What do you think? Should something be done about it or do we just need to watch where we step? If you have a theory related to the Facebook Zombie Apocalypse, please share it in the comments section below. I'd love to continue the conversation!
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