21 February 2019
Facebook said bumping up likes by buying likes does 'more harm than good'. Photo: Bloomberg
Facebook said bumping up likes by buying likes does 'more harm than good'. Photo: Bloomberg

Facebook wins US$2 billion suit against ‘like’ scammers

Facebook has vowed to “aggressively get rid of fake likes” on its network.

The site said it had won more than US$2 billion in legal judgements against scam artists who sold fake likes to businesses, BBC News reported.

Many businesses buy likes to make their products or brands appear more popular.

But Facebook said bumping up likes this way does “more harm than good”, and could mean companies “could end up doing less business” on the social network.

In a post on its security blog, Facebook said: “We have a strong incentive to aggressively get rid of fake likes because businesses and people who use our platform want real connections and results, not fakes.”

It said: “Fake-like pedlars tempt Page admins with offers to ‘buy 10,000 likes!’ or other similar schemes.

“To deliver those likes, the scammers often try to create fake accounts, or in some cases, even hack into real accounts in order to use them for sending spam and acquiring more likes.

“Since these fraudulent operations are financially motivated businesses, we focus our energy on making this abuse less profitable for the spammers.”

On Monday, Facebook closed its acquisition of mobile messaging service WhatsApp.

The price tag rose an additional US$3 billion to roughly US$22 billion because of the increased value of Facebook’s stock in recent months, according to Reuters.

WhatsApp, which has more than 600 million monthly users, is among a new crop of mobile messaging and social media apps that have become increasingly popular among younger users.

Facebook paid US$4.59 billion in cash and 178 million shares of its stock for WhatsApp, as well 46 million of grants in restricted stock units for WhatsApp employees that will vest over a four-year period. At Monday’s opening Facebook share price of US$77.17, the deal translates to roughly US$21.8 billion.

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