Many Facebook pages have started to lose fans as the social network begins a fresh crackdown on fake accounts.
Facebook confirmed to TechCrunch that it has started deleting false accounts and “Likes,” as promised in a list of site improvements announced last month. That means many fan pages have seen a loss of followers … albeit fake followers.
Facebook announced plans for improvements to its “site integrity systems” on August 31. In a blog post from Facebook’s security team, the site pledged to sniff out and eliminate fake accounts or Likes that had been sold or gained through dodgy third-party companies that charge for Likes. The post stated:
“A Like that doesn’t come from someone truly interested in connecting with a Page benefits no one. When a Page and fan connect on Facebook, we want to ensure that connection involves a real person interested in hearing from a specific Page and engaging with that brand’s content.”
Fortunately, your “Dogs Wearing Helmets” page won’t be too badly affected, as it seems to be the most popular pages that are shedding the most fans. Facebook analytics site PageData reports how, as of Thursday morning, Zynga’s Texas HoldEm Poker page had lost almost 200,000 Likes since Tuesday. Lady Gaga had dropped 66,000 during the same two-day period, and The Simpsons had dipped by about 21,000.
The social network told CNN that companies that had followed its rules should expect no more than a 1% dip in Likes. Some of the inauthentic Likes are caused by malware, while others occur when a user is deceived into “liking” something they may have not intended to like.
Other pages affected by the Facebook purge include Eminem, Rihanna and Shakira: