Jack Yan
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The Persuader

My personal blog, started in 2006.



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09.10.2014

How many Facebook bots do you see in an evening? I count over 250

Last month, I Tweeted Facebook, asking them to raise the reporting limit for bots. Right now, you can report around 40 bot accounts before a warning box comes up asking you to slow down. If you do another 10, you are barred from reporting any more for 24 hours—even though you are trying to help Facebook clean up its act.
   I said that the rate of increase in bot accounts was exponential, and that raising the limit to 200 immediately might be useful.
   Tonight, the 200 barrier has been broken. In other words, in one evening, not counting click farms (which are also hitting our groups like crazy, with a growing number from Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and Tunisia daily), I came across 277 bot accounts on Facebook. All because I have a few groups and I was checking to see who was joining.
   And here I was, thinking that over the last few weeks, when I was seeing a maximum of six daily, that Facebook had this problem under control.
   Obviously, the bot nets found a way through whatever defences Facebook had.
   I won’t republish the list of 277 here. There might be slightly fewer as there could be doubling-up in my list—you can lose your place at night copying and pasting. If you do want to have a peek at what bot accounts look like, the second part of the list at my Tumblr blog will give you an idea. And if you’d like to report them, you’re most welcome to—though since it’s neither your job nor mine, I wonder why we should bother. Facebook loves to brag about its numbers of how many people it has using the site. If in order to fool advertisers it shows a quarter-on-quarter increase by counting the bots, then maybe we should let it be, and eventually let the site fall over (and let’s face it, the frequency of that happening has increased, too).
   All of which point to a website that is becoming less and less useful as a marketing tool—no wonder the likes of Ello saw an increase in usage in the last few weeks.

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Filed under: business, internet, marketing, USA—Jack Yan @ 14.28

10 Responses to ‘How many Facebook bots do you see in an evening? I count over 250’

  1. […] that’s the message their friends in Wall Street want to hear, that Facebook and Instagram are overrun with bots while legitimate users get […]

  2. […] Even on Instagram, they prefer bots to legitimate users « Jack Yan: the Persuader Blog on How many Facebook bots do you see in an evening? I count over 250 […]

  3. […] Facebook says it cares about security, I laugh. Every day I see bots, spammers and click-farm workers plague the site, and despite reporting them, Facebook lets them […]

  4. […] In 2014, I began warning that Facebook’s user numbers were false, and I also began saying that at some point, the site would boast more people than there were online users on Earth. (In fact, I said this very thing again earlier this week, ironically on a friend’s Facebook, above.)    I couldn’t see how the site could cite more than one thousand million users, given that by that point, the majority of the “users” I saw on the site joining my groups were bots. I made the warning again last year.    Now that Facebook has done something about the bots, or at least put mechanisms in place where we can identify them more readily, I’ve been seeing falls in user numbers in groups.    Finally, in 2017, the tech press catches on, even though if in 2014 you could find over 250 bots a night, you should have been suspicious of any user numbers Facebook was claiming.    Marketwatch notes: […]

  5. […] And those requests are coming from bots. Facebook hasn’t fixed its bot problem—far from it. This reached epidemic levels in 2014, and it’s continued in 2018—four years and one US presidential election later. As discussed […]

  6. […] identities.    I could have told you about the fake Facebook presences in 2014. Hang on, I did. There was an entire series of blog posts about it here and on my Tumblr.    While I […]

  7. […] the wall.    We always knew Facebook’s user numbers were bogus, considering how many bots there are on the system. It would be more when people wanted to buy advertising, and it would be […]

  8. […] always knew Facebook’s user numbers were bogus, considering how many bots there are on the system. It would be more when people wanted to buy advertising, and it would be […]

  9. […] than in government censuses—then that is a worry.    That leads me on to another point: bots. This place is full of them. I used to see more bots in my group queues than humans. I report them. […]

  10. […] healthy for us.    I can add the following, that many of you who read this blog know: Facebook is full of bots, with false claims about their audience, and engages in actual distribution of questionable […]

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