• Steve H. Hanke
    05/04/2016 - 08:00
    Authored by Steve H. Hanke of The Johns Hopkins University. Follow him on Twitter @Steve_Hanke. A few weeks ago, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) sprang a surprise. It announced that a...

A Walkthru Explaining Facebook's "Millions" Of Fake Users

Tyler Durden's picture




 

A month ago we explained in gory detail the growth of "click farms" where nothing is what it seems, and where social networking participants spend millions of dollars to appear more important, followed, prestigious, cool, or generally "liked" than they really are. The following excellent walk-through of just how the fraud works is concerning when the entire US stock market appears propped up by an ever-shrinking layer of "social media" and "cloud" faith that this time it's different and no Friendster or MySpace.

 

 

As we noted previously,

...

 

Social networking has been the "it" thing for a while: for the networks it makes perfect sense because they are merely the aggregators and distributors of terrabytes of free, third party created content affording them multi-billion dollar valuations without generating a cent in profits (just think of the upside potential in having 10 times the world's population on any given publicly-traded network), while for users it provides the opportunity to be seen, to be evaluated or "liked" on one's objective, impartial merits and to maybe go "viral", potentially making money in the process.

 

Of course, the biggest draws of social networks also quickly became their biggest weaknesses, and it didn't take long to game the weakest link: that apparent popularity based on the size of one's following or the number of likes, which usually translates into power and/or money, is artificial and can be purchased for a price.

 

...

And once the prevailing users of social networks grasp that one of the main driving features of the current social networking fad du jour is nothing but a big cash scam operating out of a basement in the far east, expect both Facebook and shortly thereafter, Twitter, to go the way of 6 Degrees, Friendster and MySpace, only this time the bagholders will be the public. Because "it is never different this time." The only certain thing: someone will promptly step in to replace any social network that quietly fades into the sunset.

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Thu, 02/13/2014 - 20:31 | 4434527 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

you...you mean.. you can BUY fake users/followers???

O M G

I am glad I never signed up.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 20:32 | 4434539 fonestar
fonestar's picture

fonestar thought all those beautiful women were waiting to meet him?  Always sent to some other website?

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 20:36 | 4434552 Stockmonger
Stockmonger's picture

Can I buy likes with these stranded Bitcoins?

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 20:43 | 4434570 Gankfest
Gankfest's picture

lol @ Facebook!

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 20:49 | 4434591 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Facebook and Twitter are both high grade scams, with probably as many as 25% and 50% of their alleged "users" being some form/variation of bots, respectively.

When the NASDAQ leads the next bleed out in the equity markets (as it has for the last 3 meltdowns), these two ticker symbols will be in "heavy flow" menstruation.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 21:02 | 4434624 General Decline
General Decline's picture

A little off topic but I once rebuilt a KX 250 while it was running, through the exhaust pipe with a pair of those long needle nose pliers you use for getting a fish hook out of the fishes mouth.

My point is if you have a social media account, fill it with so much bullshit and nonsense that the whole spy/CIA system gets watered down and slowly becomes irrelevant. Do your part.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 21:20 | 4434695 dryam
dryam's picture

Is there anything that isn't a Ponzi anymore?

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 22:10 | 4434923 SafelyGraze
SafelyGraze's picture

the friends are rehypothecated

 

 

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 22:19 | 4434975 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

++ Best in Short Comment catagory.  Congratulations.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 00:39 | 4435375 CheapBastard
CheapBastard's picture

You mean to tell me those 300 million "friends" of Beeber are...fake?!

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 08:36 | 4435955 kralizec
kralizec's picture

Screw that clown...aren't 99% of the White House Fraudbook and Twit accounts bogus?!  Democracy in itself is self-destructive, but astroturfed democracy and astroturfed populism in a republic-in-name-only is hilariously insane!

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 09:51 | 4436124 I am more equal...
I am more equal than others's picture

 

 

 

If facebook was like zerohedge there would be dislikes as well as likes.  A bet a lot of companies don't want to hear about the dislikes.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 22:32 | 4435019 Bunga Bunga
Bunga Bunga's picture

Human reproduction is a Ponzi by itself.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 21:23 | 4434700 max2205
max2205's picture

Bookmark this....in the end this will be exposed.for faud 10x that of enron.....where are the auditors!

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 22:27 | 4434996 skwid vacuous
skwid vacuous's picture

does that chik with the great ass Jen something have a FB account? then maybe i will "sign up" or whatever they call it, just to see more pics of her ass but i dont think I will be a good click-thru-ad-spend-sticky-metric-user-etc.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 22:39 | 4438536 jonytk
jonytk's picture

yes, you can, check it out yourself you can buy fb likes and google's pluses here 0.005$ each. It's so stable, it's traded as an alternative currency alongside bitcoin, litecoin, namecoin and others.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 21:55 | 4434854 rubiconsolutions
rubiconsolutions's picture

@fonestar - "fonestar thought all those beautiful women were waiting to meet him?  Always sent to some other website?"

Cheer up mate. Maybe you can start using click farms to start buying up arrows on your Bitcoin drivel.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 20:37 | 4434546 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

Click bitch farms. Yep!

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 22:07 | 4434908 BennyBoy
BennyBoy's picture

Goldman would never be involved in a fraud!

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 20:30 | 4434535 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

People have no loyalty to free services, or even paid ones. Fad is king. As Swedish lead guitarist Skwisgaar tells Norwegian rhythm guitarist Toki in the cartoon Metalocalypse,

"The audience ams a fickles mistress, Toki. The audience ams a fickles mistress!"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2qpe2em3fk

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 22:58 | 4435124 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Institute even a $2 per month fee to use Facebook and 90% of whatever actual, carbon-based life forms it has as "users" would bail instantly.

That's how its (lack of) value should be regarded.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 04:39 | 4435702 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Metalocalypse is so over the top at times, but "The Boondocks" really, really sinks some fangs in race relations!

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 20:32 | 4434536 MrVincent
MrVincent's picture

Facebook is now worth more than Verizon, AT&T, CISCO and Disney. Its closing in on IBM.

Everyone I know who used to use it all the time have basically abandoned it, which is pretty typical for these things.

 

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 20:41 | 4434573 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

My teenagers have abandoned it.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 20:52 | 4434595 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re:  My teenagers have abandoned it.

Abandoned?  Or can't admit to using it.  

What are they using instead?     Humans need a facebook like device to find each other for sex and to show off their bling.     We might end-up with a young facebook for the sex and a post-sex facebook for the adults with kids; but eventually there will just be one Facebook like device.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 21:30 | 4434709 AlaricBalth
AlaricBalth's picture

My cat JEdgar stopped posting on his Facebook page a few months ago after discovering kitty porn. Note his expression when I read him this article concerning fake accounts.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2nolAS2neVI/Tab5eiEaKMI/AAAAAAAAArI/qh6pYGODEJ...

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 01:19 | 4435487 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Block icanhas.cheezburger.com if you haven't already (you probably did), because JEdgar will be fapping 24/7 if he finds it.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 04:45 | 4435709 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

My daughter only uses facebook to play "Candy Crush" and some game where plants kill zombies.  I'm reminded of a spot on "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" tapes where Zaphod and Rooster use a body debit card to go to a discotheque (and thus escape from the frogstar):

Rooster:  "There aren't any real people here at all!" (he exclaimed after finding out the disco was populated by androids)

Zaphod: "So what eles is new?"

 

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 08:18 | 4435921 Hooter Shaker
Hooter Shaker's picture

That's it!  Fuckbook....I'm starting a new social networking site today!

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 21:09 | 4434660 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

I deactivated my FaceBook account...didn't see any value in it.

My oldest dog, however, does have an account.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 22:21 | 4434984 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

ZH for arguing with strangers an FB for the cat pics.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 00:32 | 4435357 Tapeworm
Tapeworm's picture

I have a facebuck acct. that I never signed up for. I have never even been on FB although my daughters tell me that I have many Friends.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 20:35 | 4434537 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

About time Tyler. I hate to give market ticker credit for running story days ago. 

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 20:34 | 4434541 Ulterior
Ulterior's picture

veritasium and pointless clicking seems to go together as both are ddumb

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 20:36 | 4434548 nmewn
nmewn's picture

My personal favorite about internet fakery was this:

"For every video he watches, Angle gets 0.00004 bitcoins, or about half a cent, thanks to a service, called BitcoinGet, that shamelessly drives artificial traffic to certain online clips. He can watch up to 12 videos a day, which gets him to about six cents.* And he can beef up this daily take with Bitcoin Tapper, a mobile app that doles out about 0.000133 bitcoins a day — a couple of pennies — if he just taps on a digital icon over and over again. Like the YouTube service, this app isn’t exactly the height of internet sophistication — it seeks to capture your attention so it can show you ads — but for Angle, it’s a good way to keep himself fed."

Its wrong on so many levels but it was presented to me as a "societal good"...using the homeless to throw advertising at you, is good, you see? ;-)

http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2013/09/bitcoin-homeless/

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 20:36 | 4434551 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

So Facebook is social QE?

Sorry, Farcebook.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 20:38 | 4434553 Dagny Taggart
Dagny Taggart's picture

So Facebook gives me the boot (several years back) and says I am not a real person, but allows all these fake accounts? Then if indeed Facebook does operate like the Fed, that would make me a barbarous relic. Nice.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 20:38 | 4434559 CulturalEngineer
CulturalEngineer's picture

An (e.g.) 1/10 cent payment connected to the current Like button (whether it was credited to the likee or something else*) would stop the Facebook Fraud problem by making them non-viable for clickfarms.. and still not seriously impact the original button's usability?

*for instance a user could designate a charity recipient for his likes

P.S. Also entirely alters campaign finance and advocacy

Represented by Perkins Coie

Characteristics of the Monied "Like" Button

http://culturalengineer.blogspot.com/2013/12/characteristics-of-monied-l...

 

One-Click Micropayment Capability for Volume Solicitations and Multiple Providers

http://culturalengineer.blogspot.com/2013/12/one-click-micropayment-capa...

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 20:43 | 4434571 CulturalEngineer
CulturalEngineer's picture

This is best accomplished as an interbank system similar to ClearXChange... except this entity will NOT be owned or controlled by the banks but as an independent utility... preferably under some sort of user-owned co-op design.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 20:41 | 4434566 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Disagree.   At some point a device becomes ubiquitous; which will happen when it becomes too painful to switch to something else.

The telephone became ubiquitous, the 4'8" railroad gauge became ubiquitous.  Why?     Just because it was easiest at that point in time.   Facebook could be the 4'8" railroad gauge (Or not) but something WILL be.   

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 21:26 | 4434723 WonderDawg
WonderDawg's picture

And I respectfully disagree, if not on the fact that people are already getting sick of it, then on the fact that the business model is completely different. Social media is free to users and dependent on generating revenue from other sources, such as advertisers. Ask people to pay to use FB and watch how quickly it goes away (I, and most of the people I know, barely use it now and wouldn't pay even a dollar a year to use it). And as more advertisers wake up to the fact that people don't see the ads, don't click on the ads, and if they do happen to stop their eyeballs on the ads, are annoyed by them, they will stop throwing their money away.

Personally, I couldn't care less about 99% of what's on my news feed, and therefore find myself using it less and less. Twitter has basically given a microphone to everyone in the world and the noise is deafening, so I choose not to engage in that non-sense, either. There just isn't a viable business model for these things, unless people want to pay to use them, and I don't know many who would.

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 09:33 | 4436071 Max Hunter
Max Hunter's picture

I don't think you are comparing apples to apples. It wasn't painful to leave myspace and go to facebook.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 20:43 | 4434572 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

Facebook has like nineteen billion active users.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 20:49 | 4434583 nmewn
nmewn's picture

lol.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 20:58 | 4434600 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Glad you're getting hip, Buzz..., but about your maff...

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 21:08 | 4434644 1fortheroad
1fortheroad's picture

WoW, thats like 9 yellen bucks a user, market cap wise.

 

Makes cents to me.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 21:36 | 4434765 ziggy59
ziggy59's picture

The real decline is due to weather..

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 20:51 | 4434584 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

This is why some of have been so negative with hoody zuckerfuck.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIGdWsxHJlM&sns=em

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 20:49 | 4434585 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

Everyone go and like Virtual Cat now.  Lets blow this guy's mind!

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 20:47 | 4434587 texas sandman
texas sandman's picture

O.K. I'll say it....Fakebook.  Where you can feel popular, even though you have the personality of a yak.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!