For Artists and Fans, Facebook Bots Are Cause for Concern


Even as it exerts increasing influence over our public and private lives, this hasn’t been the best year for Facebook, with its faltering IPO filing, controversial privacy policy shifts, widely-criticized shift to the “Timeline” layout, and its recent censoring of a nude Gerhard Richter painting. Then came this week’s apparent revelation that Facebook’s all-important click-through ads — the ones that generate revenue for the company and its new stockholders — were possibly being driven by web bots for the most part.

The scandal broke on Monday, when a music-oriented digital storefront company called Limited Run publicized possible issues with the click-through rate on their Facebook ads, even claiming to have been shaken down by Facebook for cash. And this came on the heels of another music-related scandal in May, involving many of the top EDM superstars, including David Guetta, Avicii, and Skrillex, whom some accused of manipulating the Like counts on their Facebook artist pages, also using bots.

What’s going on here?

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