So, what’s the deal with all the followers on Social Media? Should we want them? To what extent should we go to get them?
That is what I will explore in this blog post.
Doug Bock Clark in his article, The BOT Bubble: How Click Farms Have Inflated Social Media Currency, writes about how celebrities, companies, and everyday people boost their social media standing via “click farms” where customers buy social media influence (Clark, 2015).
In this article Clark interviews Richard Braggs, who set up a click farm company in 2013 with 17 employees working for him. This company makes 100–150 phone verified accounts (PVAs) on average per person on shift, working round the clock shifts so his farm would never go dark (Clark, 2015, p. 37).
Braggs is not the only one with a click farm company; these organizations can be found all over the world.
They exist in:
- the Philippines
- Eastern Europe
Despite vast locality most click farms are run by small teams that manage them independently (Clark, 2015, p.36).
It is also not difficult to purchase likes or followers for social media on the internet. Popular figures such as Paris Hilton and 50 Cent and companies like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Mercedes Benz, and Louis Vuitton are known to use these services.
How Does it Work?
Clark clarifies on how this works: 1,000 Facebook likes for $29.99; 1,000 Twitter followers for $12; or any other type of fake social media credential, from YouTube views to Pinterest followers to SoundCloud plays (2015, p. 34).
What Do Social Media Companies Think About Click Farms?
We know that social media companies are familiar with click farms. For example Facebook even knows Braggs by name and has shut down his personal account. Facebook spokesmen issued…