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Vlogger says he has proof that Facebook’s ad program is a fraud

(Social Media) Facebook has upset businesses by showing the status updates on their Pages to fewer people unless they pony up, but one vlogger says he has proof that even if you pay, the followers are illegitimate.



Do you operate a Facebook Page?

Because you read AG, you already know that Facebook is changing their algorithm in what they called an effort to improve news feeds, surfacing “higher quality” content to users that they are more likely to click on based on their current behavior on the site, nixing memes and promoting news, based on their research indicating that users don’t want cat pictures, they want stories about Syria. Interesting.

Facebook says they’ll be displaying “relevant” articles underneath links in the news feed, so that content will be exposed to people interested in that related content, but Facebook has openly admitted that the organic reach of Facebook Pages is dropping. That means that if you have 10,000 likes, unless you pay to be seen by Facebook users, they may only show 100 people an update you post, despite 10,000 indicating they want information from you in their news feed.

The science video blog (vlog), Veritasium took the time to create a video explanation of why the dip in organic reach is a bunch of garbage. We projected that this move by Facebook would push more businesses into the Google+ economy in coming months.

Enter the Facebook fraud allegations

Fast forward to today and Veritasium is at it again, explaining in very simple terms how they feel they have proof that the Facebook advertising program is a fraud. The tale involves testing fake Pages, analyzing user counts and their geography, and comparing these notes to the Facebook Pages of major brands. Take a ten minute break to watch the whole thing so we can discuss:

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How do you feel about this? Are you in the camp that believes that Facebook is a free service, so they can do as they wish, or are you in the camp that believes this to be a fraud of unmeasured proportions?

Please tell us in the comments below your thoughts about the video and if you’ve had any similar experiences with your own Pages.

The American Genius is news, insights, tools, and inspiration for business owners and professionals. AG condenses information on technology, business, social media, startups, economics and more, so you don’t have to.



  1. Brady Pevehouse

    February 11, 2014 at 9:13 am

    While you can’t fault Facebook for this dilemma, you would think they would be more proactive in ensuring the success of their paying advertisers. I believe this is why the Facebook trend is slowing fading. Users are tired of being hit with so many ads, and businesses (big and small) are tired of zero, real quantifiable return on investment. The value of a like is probably close to 5 cents in generated revenue in my opinion.
    So unless you are a movie star who benefits by garnering support for your premier and first week sales, what is the benefit of paid advertising on Facebook?

    Until Facebook wakes up and realizes they have diminished their real and potential value by allowing, and “PROFITING” from such practices, they will continue to be less relevant. Just my opinion..

    Could the fact that your ad campaign was depleted by users out of your specifically requested advertising area, be cause for concern. Could this be a potential class action suit due to Facebook profiting from fraudulent out of area clicks. Do you have anything that could be quantified and verified in court that countries out of your advertising areas were the known cost of your ad budget? I imagine a smart attorney may see a huge benefit in this….. if so, call me. I’ve wasted plenty of money advertising on Facebook before realizing my expense had no returns.

    • davemill

      February 11, 2014 at 2:41 pm

      “While you can’t fault Facebook for this dilemma…”
      Ummm…you believe that Facebook does not understand this reality even better than the guy in the video? They understand it , they profit from it, and therefore they are to blame. Welcome to the real world.

  2. chrisshouse

    February 11, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Wow! Who would have thought these things up…I did not even know click farms existed. Hmmm I guess I am just not devious minded…we have already determined I am not a liar!

  3. dobeman

    February 21, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    I can see both sides, but the majority of advertisers (or the ones making the budgeting decisions) aren’t experts at Facebook advertising (and Twitter and LinkedIn and (insert social media site name here) and as much as we’d like to, we can’t all run multiple ad tests, all well-designed by talented graphics departments. It’s been obvious for more than a year what Facebook’s plans are and while my paid ads to generate significantly more interest, I doubt it’s any more than it would if Facebook actually showed my posts to my full audience.

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