This Man's $600,000 Facebook Disaster Is A Warning For All Small Businesses

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

It continues to amaze me how people are completely ignoring what appears to be an incredible amount of shadiness inherent in Facebook’s business model. Whether or not this is intentional click fraud, it is clear that advertisers are not getting what they think they are getting. They won’t be fooled forever, and once they wake up to the money being wasted on fake “likes” and “clicks,” I’m curious to see what happens to their revenue.

The following article from SF Gate is a perfect followup to my post from a couple weeks ago: How Much of Facebook’s Ad Revenue is From Click Fraud?

Perhaps the most shocking passage from the entire article is the following:

Naturally, Brar began disputing his bill with Facebook. He wanted his clicks audited by a third party, to see how many were genuine. Then he discovered that Facebook’s terms of service forbid third-party verification of its clicks. That’s something all advertisers should be aware of before they spend a penny on Facebook.


Facebook is different from the rest of the online ad industry, which follows a standard of allowing click audits by third parties like the IAB, the Media Ratings Council or Ernst & Young.

Um, ok then…

Now more from the SF Gate:

Raaj Kapur Brar runs a small but successful empire of online fashion magazines from his base just outside Toronto. Some of his titles are huge online brands, such as Fashion & Style Magazine, which has 1.6 million Facebook fans.


That’s more fans than Elle magazine has.


Recently, however, Brar has fallen out of love with Facebook. He discovered  that his Facebook fanbase was becoming polluted with thousands of fake likes from bogus accounts. He can no longer tell the difference between his real fans and the fake ones. Many appear fake because the users have so few friends, are based in developing countries, or have generic profile pictures.

At one point, he had a budget of more than $600,000 for Facebook ad campaigns, he tells us. Now he believes those ads were a waste of time.

Facebook declined multiple requests for comment on this story.


Brar’s take is a cautionary one because Facebook has 25 million small businesses using its platform for one marketing purpose or another. Many of them are not sophisticated advertisers — they are simply plugging a credit card number into the system and hoping for the best. This is what can happen if you don’t pay careful attention to contract language, or the live, real-time results your campaigns on Facebook are having.


Here’s how Brar believes it went down: He became interested in advertising on Facebook in 2012, and he took it seriously. He went to Facebook’s local Toronto office where he was trained to use the advertising interface. They set up the campaign, and ran a small “beta” test. Then, in late October Brar pulled the trigger on a massive push through Facebook’s Ads Manager. He used Bitly and Google Analytics to measure the number of clicks his campaign was generating.


The results were disastrous, Brar says.


Facebook’s analytics said the campaign sent him five times the number of clicks he was seeing arrive on his sites, which Brar was monitoring with Bitly, Google Analytics, and his own web site’s WordPress dashboard. There was a reasonable discrepancy between the Bitly and Google numbers, Brar says, but not the five-fold margin between Google’s and Facebook’s click counts.


At one point, data from Facebook indicated his ads had delivered 606,000 clicks, but the site itself registered only 160,000 incoming clicks from Facebook, according to data supplied by Brar. (160,000 clicks is a not insignificant return. After all, these are not clicks on a mere Facebook page, these are users who clicked through to an off-Facebook site.)


“I don’t know what to say, right? This is a huge loss. This ran for four days, then we just stopped the campaign,” Brar says.


Then, things got worse. Even though Fetopolis wasn’t advertising, the likes and new followers kept on piling up. Normally, an advertiser would be pleased at such a result, but every time Brar checked a sample of the new fans he found people with dubious names; a picture of a flower as a profile shot; and fewer than 10 friends — classic signs of a fake profile.


Naturally, Brar began disputing his bill with Facebook. He wanted his clicks audited by a third party, to see how many were genuine. Then he discovered that Facebook’s terms of service forbid third-party verification of its clicks. That’s something all advertisers should be aware of before they spend a penny on Facebook: Facebook has operated this way for a long time, and has a page for advertisers explaining in more depth why third-party click reporting may not match Facebook’s click counts. Essentially, Facebook suggests, if clicks are not measured in exactly the same way over the same time intervals then there will always be discrepancies.


Facebook is different from the rest of the online ad industry, which follows a standard of allowing click audits by third parties like the IAB, the Media Ratings Council or Ernst & Young.

This will all be exposed by the market sooner or later. I’m just shocked it is taking so long for people to put two and two together.

Full article here.

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Tue, 02/25/2014 - 16:29 | 4477024 Magnix
Magnix's picture

And Facebook price plunges!

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 16:40 | 4477091 TerminalDebt
TerminalDebt's picture

I thought I was the only one with 23 fakebook accounts

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 16:43 | 4477105 lineskis
lineskis's picture

Facebook fraud brilliantly explained here by Veritasium:

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 16:47 | 4477120 Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture



Brar sounds like a sucker; $600,000.00 to advertise on FakeBook???!!!


Tue, 02/25/2014 - 16:48 | 4477130 The Juggernaut
The Juggernaut's picture

I made this program that creates FB pages and gives positive remarks for businesses.  Its $15,000.  FB is a joke.  Its a platform to get your face for the face-recognition machines.

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 16:53 | 4477160 Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture



I now have a program that creates Up Arrows for ZH comments; I will provide 100 Up Arrows to your comment for the low price of 20 U.S. Dollars.

[now get to work Raji and Ahmed...]

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 17:04 | 4477216 Gene Parmesan
Gene Parmesan's picture

I have one that creates Down Arrows. It's 5 bucks. I have several satisfied customers who would be happy to provide references. Please contact fonestar for further details.

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 17:05 | 4477219 fonestar
fonestar's picture

A fonestar is standing by.

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 17:20 | 4477280 Gene Parmesan
Gene Parmesan's picture

I'll give you +1 for being quick on the response.

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 17:28 | 4477316 Fish Gone Bad
Fish Gone Bad's picture

I gotta give both of you up arrows.  How does anyone keep up with all this stuff?

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 17:34 | 4477318 zaphod
zaphod's picture

There are now sites that consolidate all the ways to buy fake twitter followers

Many of these offer around 100,000 followers for less than $500. That is chump change for anyone that wants to promote themselves by inflating their influence. 

Why should you do this? Here is the explaination direct from the website

"Buying Twitter Followers is a shortcut. It’s a way to increase your Twitter Account’s social credibility and can give your business, career a great kick-start, or even an ego boost. While it’s not really socially acceptable, it’s well known that million of people around the world have bought them."


Tue, 02/25/2014 - 17:48 | 4477417 SilverIsKing
SilverIsKing's picture

Circle jerk anyone?

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 18:45 | 4477711 IBelieveInMagic
IBelieveInMagic's picture

Google is no better. They keep showing me banner ads for websites that I have already independently visited hoping that I will just click on their banner ads to generate free money for them. In my view this is not in the interest of the advertiser -- why should they pay for a visitor who has already been to their site without google's clickthru? Unethical practice.

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 19:07 | 4477815 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

In past, Boris is click on ad for free chat with beautiful Thai woman... but is all fake!

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 19:14 | 4477849 wintermute
wintermute's picture

Never used Faceboob, but I hear some people like it.

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 20:05 | 4478072 thestarl
thestarl's picture

All these deadshits on social media are the same people totally oblivious to what the NSA and the like are up to.


Tue, 02/25/2014 - 21:19 | 4478356 gmrpeabody
gmrpeabody's picture

And guess how they vote...

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 23:28 | 4478763 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

My own FB page. An interesting experience it's been.

Feel free to like... ;-)

It has been instructive, some thigns happen just because of th esheer volume of people on the network, also because of all the people that ONLY use FB/WhatsApp for communication.


Was dragged into in kicking and screaming by my team. I'll say this, if you have nothing to hide in your virtual face to the word, it's okay.



Wed, 02/26/2014 - 06:48 | 4479373 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture





Maria Hines Rangel is've been warned.


My work is done here.

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 19:32 | 4477940 tenpanhandle
tenpanhandle's picture

But Boris, why Thai, when thre are so many beautiful Russian women waiting for you to click them?

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 22:30 | 4478549 ILLILLILLI
ILLILLILLI's picture

I keep clicking around in hopes of getting the Snorg t-shirt redhead to show up in my ad-spaces, but no luck so far.


Tue, 02/25/2014 - 23:54 | 4478857 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture



I have Schiff Radio ads to the left and right of me. And Im already suscribed to Sciffs show...


Fail Google

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 19:01 | 4477793 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture


Tue, 02/25/2014 - 19:21 | 4477892 Handful of Dust
Handful of Dust's picture

So it's not true that 44 Billion people "like" Jason Beeper?

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 21:25 | 4478369 Bay of Pigs
Bay of Pigs's picture

FarceBerg dead ahead!

Seriously, how can this stock be worth moar than a couple of bucks? The share dilution was ridiculous the last year or two.

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 20:14 | 4478102 grunk
grunk's picture

Up arrows AND down arrows?

Isn't that a perpetual motion machine?

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 23:52 | 4478842 palmereldritch
palmereldritch's picture

 I'll give you +1 for being quick on the response.

f*nestar is a quasi-bot.  He's admitted as much.

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 00:21 | 4478950 Son of Loki
Son of Loki's picture

I just bought 1,000 down ZH arrows on Ebay and flipped them [at a Fat profit] to some guy in DC named sunstein.....

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 00:57 | 4479054 palmereldritch
palmereldritch's picture

Sunstein is all about the hot algo on algo action

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 07:03 | 4479389 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture




Mirror mirror on the wall.....who's the sexist communist of them all?


Mirror: That would be Van Jones....sorry Cass.

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 17:36 | 4477354 Blano
Blano's picture

Self deprecating humor helps your cause.

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 18:03 | 4477484 max2205
max2205's picture


Wed, 02/26/2014 - 07:05 | 4479390 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Mr. Lay.....are you smoking crack?

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 18:12 | 4477532 El Oregonian
El Oregonian's picture


Tue, 02/25/2014 - 19:35 | 4477956 tenpanhandle
tenpanhandle's picture

fonestar, do you have a beeper that goes off every time "fonetar" appears in a ZH comment?

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 21:09 | 4478323 fxrxexexdxoxmx
fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

Good one fonestar. Hey BTW have you heard about this new crypto-currency that is called Bitcoin?

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 17:42 | 4477374 Woodhippie
Woodhippie's picture

I have one that down votes fonestar that's free.  Whether or not you even read his post.

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 19:37 | 4477964 tenpanhandle
tenpanhandle's picture

Thankyou very much but that would take away the joy I get when downvoting fonestar .

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 19:57 | 4478050 Handful of Dust
Handful of Dust's picture
Fukushima's radioactive ocean water arrives at West Coast


Radiation from Japan's leaking Fukushima nuclear power plant has reached waters offshore Canada, researchers said at the annual American Geophysical Union's Ocean Sciences Meeting in Honolulu.

Never thought I'd see this reported as aHeadline on MSN News web site.


Tue, 02/25/2014 - 23:56 | 4478866 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

This is garbage

They used very sensitive equipment to measure this shit.

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 19:26 | 4477911 HyBrasilian
HyBrasilian's picture



Thewre 'is No' keeping up anymore [thanks for your INQUIRY]...

In the 'SPIRIT' of your question... There is only one reply...

There 'is' no more 'CHEESE' ~ there are only 'CHEESEPOPES'...

I hope that helps... your friend, H~FS~B...

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 17:05 | 4477217 fonestar
fonestar's picture


Tue, 02/25/2014 - 18:05 | 4477506 InflammatoryResponse
InflammatoryResponse's picture

no just "Zuckered"




Tue, 02/25/2014 - 18:41 | 4477671 Crash Overide
Crash Overide's picture

Zucker is a Rothschild heading an army of Fakebook Bots...

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 19:14 | 4477848 Professorlocknload
Professorlocknload's picture


Wed, 02/26/2014 - 06:49 | 4479379 jmp esp
jmp esp's picture

Actually it's Zuckolded.

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 16:56 | 4477178 _SILENCER
_SILENCER's picture

Its a platform to get your face for the face-recognition machines.

Absolutely goddamn right

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 17:31 | 4477333 Againstthelie
Againstthelie's picture

And thank's to WhatsApp all phone numbers can finally be associated with the sheeple's faces.

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 17:31 | 4477334 Fish Gone Bad
Fish Gone Bad's picture

How can anyone keep up with all there is to keep up on.  The answer is, "They can't, but the machines can..."

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 18:03 | 4477494 Kayman
Kayman's picture

Why bother keeping up. The lies are bigger and the fraud expands, but when you boil it all down it's all bullshit.

If you have 100 friends, you have no friends.

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