A thriving ecosystem of websites that allow users to automatically generate millions of fake "likes" and comments on Facebook has been documented by researchers at the University of Iowa. From a report: Working with a computer scientist at Facebook and one in Lahore, Pakistan, the team found more than 50 sites offering free, fake "likes" for users' posts in exchange for access to their accounts, which were used to falsely "like" other sites in turn. The scientists found that these "collusion networks" run by spammers have managed to harness the power of one million Facebook accounts, producing as many as 100 million fake "likes" on the systems between 2015 and 2016. A large number of "likes" can push a posting up in Facebook's algorithm, making it more likely the post will be seen by more people and also making it seem more legitimate.
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