Date
14 December 2017
Facebook 'likes' on Taobao are worth anywhere from 1 yuan to 3 yuan but HK$800 apparently buys 1,000 'likes'. Photos: Taobao, facebook
Facebook 'likes' on Taobao are worth anywhere from 1 yuan to 3 yuan but HK$800 apparently buys 1,000 'likes'. Photos: Taobao, facebook

What parents would do for 48 cans of baby formula

Would you pay to be liked?

You would if you’re a certain Hong Kong parent and the object of the appreciation is your child in a Facebook baby popularity contest.

That’s how the enterprising woman dealt with the concept. She bought HK$800 worth of Facebook “likes” from Taobao and her child got an instant bump.

She also got the poor toddler disqualified for cheating, according to the Hong Kong Economic Times.

Apparently, the woman was not the only parent who tried to game the system.

One parent said some contestants instantly got 2,000 to 5,000 votes in two days which could only have come from their parents buying their babies’ way into contention, the report said.    

An online marketing firm said they received an average of 10 inquiries a day from people wanting to buy “likes” but ignored them.

And what was all this bizarre scheming about?

Forty-eight cans of baby formula to each of the top 20 babies with the highest votes (“likes”) and a chance to appear in a commercial. Altogether, HK$10,000 worth of prizes were up for grabs.

No word if woman and child were disciplined but the organizers saved their blushes. In a statement, they merely said the contestant was disqualified without giving any details.

But barrister Albert Luk thinks the woman might have a case to answer.

He said buying Facebook “likes” or online votes is an act of deception and is a serious criminal offence. Once convicted, the offender faces up to 14 years in prison, the report said.

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