Large numbers of clicks on the “like” buttons of many companies’ Facebook pages are pressed by account holders who have lied about their personal details or whose profiles are "fakes" run by computer programs to spread spam. Facebook claims it has "not seen evidence of a significant problem", and "likes" continue to be valued highly by the marketing teams of top brands. Some companies have attracted millions of "likes". But marketing consultants are now warning clients to question their value. Certain companies have been known to "buy" large numbers of them.
One security expert says: "Spammers and malware authors can mass-produce false Facebook profiles to help them spread dangerous links and spam, and trick people into befriending them.“
Facebook makes money by charging companies a fee to show ads designed to attract new "likes".
[pictured: Mark Zuckerberg, creator, CEO and president of Facebook; photo courtesy of Facebook]