Click farms have become incredibly problematic in the world of social media these days. A group of users is often paid a very low wage to continuously click like buttons, upvote internet comments, or share content to ensure it goes viral. There is also the click fraud aspect, which makes paid advertisers think their content is seen by millions of users worldwide. Below are some recent examples of click farms influencing the world around us.
4. Wasting Advertisers’ Budgets
In February of 2014, new research initiated how Filipino click farms are one of the main sources for fake likes on social networks and YouTube. These workers are paid very little money to generate thousands of fake positive remarks every hour. Some people never even get paid for it whatsoever, which is even more disconcerting. It is a bit of a hit-and-miss scenario in which “click farmers” are asked to click on everything they see. Some clicks will reward money, but most will not.
3. Facebook Likes by the Thousands
The issues generated by click farms were documented as early as 2012, by BBC journalist Rory Cellan-Jones. His findings were put to the test by one YouTuber to see how well these click farms would actually perform. By contacting an undisclosed click farm, he successfully increased Facebook likes from 2,000 to 70,000 in mere hours. Unfortunately, none of these new “likes” resulted in a positive content engagement.
Interestingly enough, this experiment showed how these click farms are not necessarily based in one country specifically. Among the most active regions were Egypt, Nepal, India, and Indonesia. A global advertising campaign on social media will always attract click farms, whereas localized efforts will result in less engagement success. It is a very fine line to walk for advertisers and content creators.
2. Bangladeshi Click Farmers Are Struggling
Motherboard published quite an interesting article related to Bangladeshi click farmers in 2016. In this particular part of the world, click farms are pretty common. For the price of US$50, anyone can get about 1,000 Facebook likes over the course of a few days. Click farmers receive a monthly wage in exchange for continuously liking Facebook pages. Interestingly enough, most of these workers join click farms due to the lack of normal job opportunities. The full details of this click farm can be seen in the associated documentary linked below.
1. The Large-scale Phone Click Farm
Perhaps the biggest eye opener in the world of click farmers made media headlines just a few weeks ago. A new Chinese click farm has been documented where 10,000 phones are put up against a wall. These phones are driving one of the world’s largest click farms in existence today. The main purpose of this click farm is to grant fake product ratings and liking social media pages across multiple platforms. It is unclear how many devices are used for this purpose exactly, though.
When the Chinese click farm gained media attention, a lot of people were surprised and outraged at the same time. It is evident a lot of information on the internet is manipulated. Reviews, ratings, likes, and shares are all subject to click farms, unfortunately. There is very little genuine information out there that cannot be influenced. Do keep in mind this Chinese click farm is quite big, but it may not necessarily be the largest in the world.
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