Paying for likes? Understanding Facebook like fraud using honeypots

Emiliano De Cristofaro*, Arik Friedman, Guillaume Jourjon, Mohamed Ali Kaafar, M. Zubair Shafiq

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution

52 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Facebook pages offer an easy way to reach out to a very large audience as they can easily be promoted using Facebook's advertising platform. Recently, the number of likes of a Facebook page has become a measure of its popularity and profitability, and an underground market of services boosting page likes, aka like farms, has emerged. Some reports have suggested that like farms use a network of profiles that also like other pages to elude fraud protection algorithms, however, to the best of our knowledge, there has been no systematic analysis of Facebook pages' promotion methods. This paper presents a comparative measurement study of page likes garnered via Facebook ads and by a few like farms. We deploy a set of honeypot pages, promote them using both methods, and analyze garnered likes based on likers' demographic, temporal, and social characteristics. We highlight a few interesting findings, including that some farms seem to be operated by bots and do not really try to hide the nature of their operations, while others follow a stealthier approach, mimicking regular users' behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2014 Conference on Internet Measurement Conference
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages129-135
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781450332132
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event2014 ACM Internet Measurement Conference, IMC 2014 - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 5 Nov 20147 Nov 2014

Conference

Conference2014 ACM Internet Measurement Conference, IMC 2014
CountryCanada
CityVancouver
Period5/11/147/11/14

Keywords

  • honeypots
  • malicious activities
  • online social networks

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  • Cite this

    De Cristofaro, E., Friedman, A., Jourjon, G., Kaafar, M. A., & Shafiq, M. Z. (2014). Paying for likes? Understanding Facebook like fraud using honeypots. In Proceedings of the 2014 Conference on Internet Measurement Conference (pp. 129-135). New York: Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/2663716.2663729