The Secret Behind the “Like” Button

Facebook header

I have long held suspicions that the Like button on Facebook is not your friend.

I’m sure you’ve seen some of the pictures floating around Facebook that seem to make no sense. There seems to be no end to the litany of crossword puzzles asking you to “type the first word you see.” Maybe you’ve seen a picture of… well, almost anything that might elicit a reaction, asking you to “share if you agree, Like of you don’t.”

How about the innumerable political posts, calling for impeachment or support? Are all those posts really put out there by people who care? Then, of course, you see a good number of “If I get 100,000 likes, my dad will take me to Disneyland.” It all seems quite innocent, but you need to understand that this is big business, and commenting or liking is not in your best interest.

prism

Here’s a perfect example: have you seen the colorful picture of a prism with the image from the cover of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon album in it? It’s accompanied buy the caption: “OMG it really works! Step 1: Click on the Picture. Step 2: Hit Like. Step 3: Comment “MOVE” Then see the Magic!!” The picture has 1000’s of likes and comments, so there MUST be something to this. You make the leap, click and comment, and BOOM… crickets.

While what you expect to happen obviously doesn’t, something else happens. Your activity has now spread this image and the page into the news feed of all your friends.

Like Farming

It’s called Like Farming and it’s pretty ingenious, as described by Yahoo blogger Becky Worley,

“Someone creates a page and starts posting photos, inspirational quotes or other innocent content. You like the page and it now shows up regularly in your news feed. Anytime you interact with a post, that activity shows up in your friends news feeds.The more likes the page gets, the more it shows up. The more comments each picture gets, the more power the page gets in the Facebook news feed algorithm. And that makes it more and more visible.”

katie-mallorySome of the most effective use of pictures are those that stimulate you in some way. A good example would be the case of “Mallory.” The picture of Mallory is posted along with something similar to the following, “This is my sister Mallory. She has Down syndrome and doesn’t think she’s beautiful. Please like this photo so I can show her later that she truly is beautiful.”

That would be a wonderful sentiment if Mallory were a real person. She is not. Her name is Katie, and her mother is horrified that her daughter’s image is being used for the scam. According to Katie’s mother, over 5.5 million people have seen her picture.

Your Likes Equal Big Bucks

The only reason scammers go to such lengths to create this kind of approach is simple. There’s a lot of money to be made. There are several ways to exploit your quick response to liking things.

Once a page reaches a certain plateau, say 100,000 or so, the owner might start placing ads on the page. These ads then show up in your newsfeed and they could be links to almost anything… games, services, apps, even porn. It could be a recommendation from someone else who likes the page, most likely someone from your friends list. The recommendation is usually for something in an online store that offers commissions for links that end up in purchases. Worse of all, it could even link to malware sites.

In the end, the result is the same. Access to your newsfeed is like gold. And the price is rising.

Page For Sale

Businesses are bought and sold every day. These pages are no different. They are big business. It is no challenge to find several sites online that cater to people attempting to sell their Facebook page. This is, of course, against Facebook policy. Consequently, it’s a bit like cat and mouse. Postings come and go in an attempt to stay one step ahead of the Facebook Policy Police.

A simple Google search showed a Facebook page about cuddling with over 1,000,000 likes is up for sale. Asking price? $7,000. Another page, full of posts, is offering multiple pages for sale. I counted over 30 pages available. And this page is located ON FACEBOOK. The title of the page is “Facebook Fan Page for Sale.” How stupid can they be?

How To Unlike

If you’ve liked something and now regret it, you can unlike it. Go to your profile, choose “more” button and choose “likes” from the drop down menu – then “Unlike.”

If you have friends who are over-liking on scammy posts, share this on your Facebook Page so they’ll get the message. Better yet, share it on their page.

UPDATE

This post has gone mini-viral with over one quarter million people viewing it in 3 days. My website host is freaking out. Anyway, there seems to be one comment that keeps resurfacing. There are several places in Facebook that offer the “more” button. Many are trying to follow the instructions above and not finding what they need. Here is what I’ve been telling everyone in the comments:

Make sure you’re at the correct “more.” Go to your personal page, the one located at https://www.facebook.com/*yourusername*. You’ll see your banner image at the top (if you’ve added one). In the lower left of that banner you’ll see your Facebook ID pic. Next to that is your name. Directly under all this is a line of links. It will probably look something like:

More button

There’s your “more” button. It will have a down arrow beside it. Open it up and LIKES should be about 6 down on the menu. once you get to your Likes page, you are presented with the ID pics for all of them. If you want to unlike one, hover in the upper right hand corner of the picture and another drop down menu will appear that includes the option to unlike. Good luck… I’m sure this will change before too long. That seems to be Facebook’s M.O.

UPDATE 2

Facebook is constantly rolling out changes which makes it hard to stay current on articles like this. Here is a comment from a visitor to this page with updated info that may be pertinent to some of you.

I had to go to my profile, then click the Activity button – then the new screen has likes on the left side. I couldn’t get to it the way the directions show as there have been changes to how FB works since this article was published.

Which was amazing to me, as this comment came in 4 days after the article was published. Facebook is certainly a challenge…

Comments

  1. Vicky Knee says:

    I’d love to know if there’s a way to figure out the root cause to the recommended pages came from or a way to find out who/what i’ve liked to create this situation – any suggestions?

    • garymoyers says:

      Well, the root cause is the algorithms that Facebook uses. It’s all part of their marketing and attempt to make as much money as possible. No fault there. They’ve stated from the beginning they are a for-profit business. As far as seeing what you’ve liked, that’s very possible. If you’ve liked something and now regret it, you can unlike it. Go to your profile, choose “more” button and choose “likes” from the drop down menu – then “Unlike.” Thanks for reading!

      • ee mccollum says:

        I hope you delete terry the hit garret’s bigoted comment. I “unlike” it.

      • Thanks so much! I didn’t know. I will now follow businesses i truly want to follow such as friends small businesses and just keep the big businesses contact with me via email subscription only

        • garymoyers says:

          Every step counts. That’s a good step toward taking back control of your personal identity and how it is used. Thanks.

        • randa trella says:

          This how I do it also. I finally got FB to where I want it. Don’t “like” unless it is from 1 of my pages. Hit the spam button if one of those ads slipping into your newsfeed.

          • garymoyers says:

            Excellent. Nice approach. Thanks for reading.

          • I have hit that spam button a million times even for the SAME ad! Why does the same one continue to pop up after doing so?

            Excellent article! I’ll definitely be working on hitting that *unlike* button.

      • Please don’t be an anti-semitic git.
        Facebook is a business that you pay nothing to use. The cultural heritage of the primary owner matters not.

      • I would love to do that but there is no like in the drop down list under the “more”.

        I would like to know if you have a better solution for this other than never like anything?

        • garymoyers says:

          Make sure you’re at the correct “more.” Go to your personal page, the one located at https://www.facebook.com/*yourusername*. You’ll see your banner image at the top (if you’ve added one). In the lower left of that banner you’ll see your Facebook ID pic. Next to that is your name. Directly under all this is a line of links. It will probably look something like:
          Timeline About Photos Friends MORE

          There’s your “more” button. It will have a down arrow beside it. Open it up and LINKS should be about 6 down on the menu.

          • Carolyn says:

            I found where it should be, but I don’t have a link button.

          • garymoyers says:

            You’re not the first to say that. I would try it again in a few days and see if it’s there.

          • I dont have a LIKE option in my MORE either.. I cant find a list of LIKES anywhere

          • garymoyers says:

            I have updated the article with some info that may help you. Look at the bottom under UPDATE.

          • OK found somethng that might help click on ACTIVITY LOG and then you can view the likes which are from Pages and Interests.. its long aconveluted but the only way I can see my LIKES

          • Michael Maya Charles says:

            Gary,

            Thanks for the piece.

            I’m exactly where you describe. But I still don’t see a “UNLIKE” button anywhere…

            What am I missing/

            MMC

          • garymoyers says:

            I have added some info to my blog post that may help. Look at the bottom under UPDATE.

          • Gary, You can also hover over the name of the poster and do the same thing. That way you can do it as you go along instead of having to go to the top of your page to unlike something! I have found this easier and faster. Thanks for the article. Well articulated!

          • garymoyers says:

            Thanks Barb. I appreciate it.

        • Ann Allison says:

          go to your activity log on your main page.

      • RobertWGardner says:

        I imagine that is the explanation for why there is not a Dislike button. At least until they figure out the profit potential there. I smell gold!

        • garymoyers says:

          Good point!

          • Is it ok to “like” on a friends personal photo say of an event, family etc.?

          • garymoyers says:

            You bet! That’s what it’s designed for. You can tell the difference between liking something you know and liking something that appears from an unknown source. The former is what the Like system is meant for. Good luck!

      • Roxann Winfield says:

        Gary I clicked on the “more” button and it only shows Notes & Pin. I went to likes and that will not let me to dislike the old likes. Suggestions???

        • garymoyers says:

          Make sure you’re at the correct “more.” Go to your personal page, the one located at https://www.facebook.com/*yourusername*. You’ll see your banner image at the top (if you’ve added one). In the lower left of that banner you’ll see your Facebook ID pic. Next to that is your name. Directly under all this is a line of links. It will probably look something like:
Timeline About Photos Friends MORE
          There’s your “more” button. It will have a down arrow beside it. Open it up and LINKS should be about 6 down on the menu.

      • Sorry Sir there’s no “Like” button in my “More”. We have “Activity” now on the new and “improved” Facebook where we have to either “Unlike” or “Delete” each post/page. That’s a tedious process which I engage in monthly.

        • garymoyers says:

          Facebook is continually rolling out updates. My personal page has not been updated to the new look yet. Everything I’ve said here may be defunct in another 6 months. That’s FB’s M.O.

      • Cyberpope says:

        Frighteningly enough, Mark Zuckerberg has previously stated his complete & total antipathy to the overall concept of personal privacy.

        I’ve checked on some oddball “[friend...] has liked [page...] & found out that most of these are utter lies!

        I get mad, then I remember, Facebook has gone IPO, thus their overall goal, BY LAW, is to make maximum money for shareholders; nowhere in that singular pursuit is there a requirement to be honest or to give a flying fleep what you or I think &/or want. . .

        I keep this in mind every time I log into Facebook. . .

        I can lie, too!

        • garymoyers says:

          Very true. It is a money making machine and not a big online reunion lets-all-feel-good site.

      • Hi Gary, Thanks for posting this article. You are absolutely correct or I would not be able to make money and support my family with it. I also, would not been able to have read your article if someone hadn’t shared it with me on Facebook. So, “Like”, I’m pressing the button and I am going to share it.

        • garymoyers says:

          Thanks, and good luck with your business. I see you are into Algor ithms as well. Hope it goes well for you.

      • Colleen Davis says:

        Hi Gary. Great info! Thank you!! When I hover over my ‘more’ button, I get ‘groups’ and ‘pinterest.’ No ‘likes.’ Any idea why that would be?

        • garymoyers says:

          Make sure you’re over the correct More button. There are several to chose from and only one leads you to the correct place. Read the UPDATE section of the article to make sure you’re where you’re supposed to be.

    • I sent pm’s to a few fb friends. “Did you really LIKE Applebee’s?” or whatever fb says they liked.
      I also am wary of sites that want you to give them permission to “post on your behalf.” The wording gives them unlimited right in quantity and time. They could post forever.

      • garymoyers says:

        I’ve done the same just to check and make sure I was correct in my assumptions. That’s what led to some of these discoveries.

        • Many of the facebook games I play have that permission screen. While my method is rather complicated (making a subgroup for each game, adding friends who play that game, changing the app permission to only THAT subgroup), but when I first want to play a game, I’ll pull the drop down to ONLY ME. Never on PUBLIC or even on FRIENDS. If I decide I like the game, I’ll make a subgroup of friends on my list who do play that and then go to my account settings and switch the permission to that subgroup. Now, my friends who don’t play the games don’t see the spam from them, and folks who do play them can see the “click for 10 coins” those games generate.

          • The idea about creating a subgroup and only giving permissions for THAT group — BRILLIANT. Gonna go do that now! Thank you!

    • The Recommended Pages are based on the amount of money the advertiser has paid and your friends interactions with that page. Pages are recommended to you if enough of your friends have liked it AND the page owner has paid to promote it. The adverts that appear on your news feed are based on keywords that appear in your news feed.

      Like Farming, which is a thing, is really one of those things that just shouldn’t exist. It works because people don’t stop and think about what the instructions say. But liking the crap they use in like farming is unlikely to affect the front page advertising (as the original image wasn’t put there by a paying advertiser).

    • Pat Barlow says:

      To be honest I find all this very hard to understand. Can anyone put it in simple English for me. Don’t press likes because………… and surely to “unlike” a like, all you
      have to do is click on it again. Sorry I am not being awkward I genuinely don’t understand this long explanation.
      I cant be the only one can I.

      • garymoyers says:

        Thanks for asking Pat. The short version is that you can like whatever you want to. The LIKE system is a good tool. Just use it wisely. Liking things and commenting on things increases the power of whatever you liked or commented on. So, if you are concerned about it (and not all are), just make sure what you are liking or commenting on is something genuine and not an attempt to boost their page’s power in an attempt to sell it. Just use common sense. You can tell the difference in a page from a real person or business and a page titled “Fluffy Kittens” or some other silly title.

    • The root cause of “likes” is the same as any other suffering: desire and ignorance.

  2. Eric Lyons says:

    I “like” this article!

    • garymoyers says:

      Thank you. Your like is safe with me.

    • I never “like” anything, nor do I “share.” If something is worth sharing, I copy the URL and create a copy myself, which isn’t linked to the one I saw. If I feel like “liking” something, I write a comment. FB would have to have a human look at the comment to determine if it is a good comment or bad one.

      These may not be perfect, but they are my way of tossing a monkey wrench into FB profit model.

      • garymoyers says:

        Haha, that’s great. Every small step is one further than before.

      • Tom, that’s what I do most of the time as well. Great idea!

      • FB actually does a lot of interesting natural language processing research so only leaving comments doesn’t actually stop them from gleaning info. For most comments, they don’t need a human. There is a lot of work in sentiment analysis which can do a pretty decent (but not perfect) job of automatically identifying good from bad comments. Businesses also pay for services which will do things like that for them across all social media services too. It’s a huge industry.

        • garymoyers says:

          Well said. Thanks!

        • This is true and should have been expected, if it wasn’t already. But then even on an initial post, FB can (and almost certainly does) employ such software to categorize the post so that they can fit response likes into their advertising algorithm.

          The Solution? Drop out of FB. So if you aren’t willing to do that, the next best thing is to try not to be one of the click-herd. Who cares what it does or doesn’t do to FB? It is appropriate to be suspicious of every picture and post. It’s appropriate to ask why someone in Maine should give a damn about a lost dog in California. It’s appropriate to view the wanted posters or descriptions of animal cruelty with suspicion. It’s appropriate to ask if your “Like” is going to be used for something unexpected from the post content.

          I approve of the use of AdBlock Plus to cut down on advertising, but that isn’t the primary purpose. The purpose is to be aware that FB isn’t all pixie dust and fluffy posts. It’s about profit, both to FB and to scammers. A little cautious suspicion is a GOOD THING!

      • grannygear says:

        You are doing better than I. I do share certain things and like certain things. However, when I stumble upon something myself, or through email, I NEVER click to share on Facebook, but then do copy the url as well and paste into the post.

        And, I never sign in to any other pages with my Facebook account, and all emails from Facebook are blocked!

      • Excellent point, Tom — We should ALL do this from now on!! Very good article, Gary — Thank you!!

  3. Arif Khan says:

    Thanks for the information, I really appreciate your efforts to inform and enlighten people. Keep Up the good work.

  4. Andrea Nowell says:

    Hi Gary,
    Thanks for the information about ‘liking’. I must admit that I have fell victim to some of these scams. There is one page that I liked, have tried to unlike, but still shows up. Have i done something wrong (apart from liking it in the first place?)

    • garymoyers says:

      Well, you can unlike stuff, but I think once they’ve got your data, your stuck. If you’ve liked something and now regret it, you can unlike it. Go to your profile, choose “more” button and choose “likes” from the drop down menu – then “Unlike.”

      • where is this “more” button on the profile because I don’t see one

        • garymoyers says:

          Go to your personal page, the one located at https://www.facebook.com/*yourusername*. You’ll see your banner image at the top (if you’ve added one). In the lower left of that banner you’ll see your Facebook ID pic. Next to that is your name. Directly under all this is a line of links. It will probably look something like:
          Timeline About Photos Friends MORE

          There’s your “more” button. It will have a down arrow beside it. Open it up and LINKS should be about 6 down on the menu.

      • Lynn Ray says:

        I clicked on More and all I had was Groups. I cannot find Likes and would love to. I have looked before with no luck.

        • garymoyers says:

          Make sure you’re at the correct “more.” Go to your personal page, the one located at https://www.facebook.com/*yourusername*. You’ll see your banner image at the top (if you’ve added one). In the lower left of that banner you’ll see your Facebook ID pic. Next to that is your name. Directly under all this is a line of links. It will probably look something like:
          Timeline About Photos Friends MORE

          There’s your “more” button. It will have a down arrow beside it. Open it up and LINKS should be about 6 down on the menu.

          • Lynn Ray says:

            Gary,
            Under More on my Timeline Page, the only item on drop down menu is groups. I can’t find “liked” pages any where. I’ve looked every place I can click on. The only way I can see liked pages is if something pops up on Pages

        • grannygear says:

          There is a place in settings where you can select hat shows up on that side of your newsfeed. I just came across it the other day, but can’t find it now.

          • grannygear says:

            Okay, I just found it on my Mac (not sure if same on PC). Click on anything on that side, like groups, and a page will come up with a little pencil on the upper right corner. Click on that and a choice “edit sections” will come up. Click on that and choose which sections you want to appear there. If you choose likes, you will be able to unlike what you want, and then follow the same instructions to hid it again if you want to.

          • garymoyers says:

            Yes, I’ve seen that. You can get rid of an ad and tell them not to send anymore like that. But setting options for the entire sidebar is also available, I believe. Any other readers out there know where it is?

      • Doing all that you say..But not able to find the “Unlike” button when I drop down into the “likes” section. Help please?

        • garymoyers says:

          Hover over the upper right corner of one of the pics of the thing you want to unlike. Another drop down menu will appear that includes an unlike option. They try to hide it as best they can.

        • garymoyers says:

          Hover over the upper right corner of one of the pics of the thing you want to unlike. Another drop down menu will appear that includes an unlike option. They try to hide it so that you have a hard time unliking things.

  5. So is it safe to click “like” on this article??? :)

  6. Today there is money to be made from like farming. But in the past – I’m thinking email forwards of the late 90’s – people just dreamed up stuff to get others to keep forwarding. Many of the email forward urban legends and scams of a decade ago have recently reappeared in the facebook era. Fake warnings about dialing 112 and entering your ATM PIN backwards really tick me off because the information is false and perhaps dangerous in and of itself.

  7. Ria Tonkin says:

    HI Gary,
    Loved your article.
    I have often wondered “how” some of these things seem to pop up from nowhere and what the purpose actually is.
    Thankyou for the insight.

    • garymoyers says:

      You bet. Knowledge is king.

      • It always puzzles me that people don’t think of the logic conundrum set by the “OMG it really works!” memes, since the previous poster wouldn’t have known if it worked, or not, until they completed the actions suggested. Also very cruel is the “I want to stay privately connected to you” meme, in which the recommended actions would seemingly remove that person from their friends’ feeds, meaning that people would have to deliberately visit his/her FB page daily to catch up on their news.

        • garymoyers says:

          I’ve come to the conclusion that people just don’t think on Facebook. Clicking is easy and most people have no clue of the consequences. That’s why I posted this.

  8. Suzanne Moshier says:

    Thanks for this article. I will share it with any of my less than fortunate friends who have liked or commented on that stupid pyramid picture!

  9. Matt Bors says:

    Did you have permission to post the entire Yahoo article your own edits? Because it would be strange for a company that large to just allow their copyrighted material to be used on a personal blog. Linking back to the source doesn’t actually give you the right to post and edit someone else’s words.

    Seems like you’re involved in some scamming of your own. Posting other people’s work so you can use it to generate traffic.

    • garymoyers says:

      Apparently my zeal to share the information trumped common sense. You are absolutely correct. There was never any intent to steal traffic. Thanks for the cold slap. I have rewritten the story.

      • Matt Bors says:

        Thank you for doing so. As a “content creator” in this day and age I get protective of the way we share, link, and post each other’s work.

  10. Tom Murphy says:

    My daughter forwarded your article to me. Thus empowered, I was able to get rid of my “Like” for Walmart – which I had NOT liked, and never would. I owe you.

  11. Thank you for the information Gary. I started unliking a week or two ago when I noticed most of the new feeds I was getting were from pages I liked or suggested pages instead of feeds/updates from my friends. I will pass this article along. Thank you again. Now if you can just figure out how to quit getting “Candy Crush” updates from friends life would be grand? LOL.

    • garymoyers says:

      Actually, that’s possible. Just go to the page that shows invitations and you’ll see all the current invitations to games or apps you’ve been offered. That page will give you the option to block the app for good and block the person who sent it from sending anything else. I love that page.

  12. I wish more was exposed about those ‘Online Dating’ sites you see via Facebook. I have already had confirmed for me that zoosk was such a scam. My bro in the States was able to register twice fake info for two many-miles-apart places. He was then supposedly contacted by the same women apparently living simultaneously hundreds of miles apart (Same pseudonyms same photos.) It seems that such a thing would be stupid to try to get away with. But these people get $30 a week from how many thousands lonely people out there?) Can any of these people be caught?

    • garymoyers says:

      That’s a little beyond my knowledge, as far as catching them is concerned. My suspicion is that they’d have to get to a certain level of income before they start garnering attention from the people who would be concerned (US Government? I’m not even sure). But the more you write about it, the more attention it will get. Speak out more!

      • How do you get rid of things like Zoosk? I have nothing in my likes which could remotely relate to it but it has no button to be able to block or report as scam-no drop down at all. Same with sponsored ads like candy crush saga. I am assuming because I download some apps on my IPad they send them to me-can I not get rid of those?

        • garymoyers says:

          Sure you can. All those apps have settings that allow them to post on your behalf. You can go into the settings and revoke that privilege. I never let anything post for me. That’s asking for trouble.

  13. With those “like farming” things, I’ve taken to reporting them as spam.

  14. Francess Treadway says:

    Your article was eye-opening and timely! I have been a victim of FB and Yahoo hacking and this explains why. I’m sure you’ve seen tons of scams, but what about one of the latest, “Women get it for free,” promising to send you everything a girl could want. I have done my best to communicate that it is a scam and it still keeps re-appearing. Any way I can get it off of my newsfeed?

    Thanks again for your article.

    F. E. Treadway
    Atlanta, Georgia

    • garymoyers says:

      Out to the far right of every post is a drop down button that gives you options for blocking. If this post is appearing from the same Page or Group every time, you have the option of blocking that Page or Group from your newsfeed. It’s something you’ll have to experiment with. It all depends on how it was sent to you. Give it a try.

  15. Sharon O says:

    So even if a friend posts a personal photo she took of her baby and I click “Like” it can cause problems down the road? I don’t typically “Like” non-personal things on Facebook, but if one of my friends posts a cute baby photo or a family photo, I want to be able to show that I appreciate the photo. So that’s a bad idea, too, when it’s just a personal picture posted?

    • garymoyers says:

      No, as far as I understand, that would be just fine. The person who posted the picture is someone you know. You can safely assume that this is not a post intended to harness the power of the Like button for the purpose of monetization at your expense. The Like button is not a bad thing. But these people are using it for something for which it was never intended.

  16. I mostly click LIKE on my Friends Posts.. Is That also not a good thing to do ??

    • garymoyers says:

      That is perfectly fine. If you know the poster and the post itself is not something that appears to be a link farm, go for it! The Like button is not bad. Only the abuse of it is questionable. Just keep in mind that a lot of the link farm stuff is there because it has been reposted by people who have clicked on it. Always consider what the content is.

  17. Jackie Williams says:

    I probably did something stupid like this in the early days of Facebooking. I’ve since gotten rid of them, I believe, and blocked them for the most part.
    Question: I’ve seen the ‘ads’ showing friends and family having liked or they support the ad. I’ve questioned them privately, and they state that NO, they do/did NOT. Is this a part of the deceit of farming ads?
    Thank you for a very informative article too! I will pass this on in hopes that the happy clickers will finally figure it all out…probably not….but I can try.

    • garymoyers says:

      Yes, that is exactly what I’m talking about. At some point, your friend liked a page. Now that page has either started placing ads or has sold to someone else who changed the name and started placing ads. That’s the business of link farming.

  18. Hi Gary,thanks for the info, can use this “Like and Move” also to promote my website/work ?
    Is there a better way ?
    I have no intension to “stalk” with my website but I want to get in contact with the right people (potencial buyers and gallery’s)
    Can you help me?
    Thanks, Monique

    • garymoyers says:

      Don’t confuse legitimate use of the Like button with link farmers. Facebook designed the like system for exactly that, people who want to expand their business. Go ahead and do what you need to. There’s a big difference in presenting content and info from your website and people who scam the system. Good luck!

  19. Good read :) I have always been careful with my ‘likes’ sticking to family and friends businesses, and a few big well known companies. A few months ago a friend asked since when did I start liking a meat company – being a vegetarian of 30 years she thought it a bit odd! Closer inspection of my liked pages showed over 50 that I had definitely never liked! I deleted them all, but doing a check last week noticed about a dozen more that I didn’t like. Any ideas?
    Suzanne

    • garymoyers says:

      I have a few more suspicions regarding exactly this… likes popping up that you never did. But nothing I can prove yet. Still, some of this can be attributed to link farms that sold your like on something you actually did. Maybe you liked something is simple as bluebonnets, then that page was sold to someone else. Now your like has been assigned to something your never officially liked. That’s abuse of the system. Big business.

      • Busted.

        Following your wonderful tip about digging through MORE and LIKES, I found now six, yes SIX companies had claimed a LIKE I never clicked. I’ve been one who looked at all this LIKE with a very jaundiced eye, in fact I told folks I was not clicking LIKE on some of what I actually do like, and clicking LIKE on something I really don’t like, just to throw a monkey wrench into the system so they didn’t actually nail down exactly who I am and what I would buy. Then I click the “go away” X on sponsored ads and tell them I think their ad is offensive. So what I’m saying is I’m very judicious on what LIKE I click. Six companies that if I hadn’t read your article here, and followed your advice, I’d never know (unless a friend told me) that some company was blaring out that I LIKEd it, when I didn’t. Also, sadly I UNLIKEd a lot of products I did LIKE before, because they’re on the list of companies who use GMO products. The good side of going through my list was I could categorize older LIKEs that I’d clicked before the ADD TO INTEREST LISTS, and remove LIKEs from pages or games that are gone. Thank you so much for this article, I knew LIKE could be misused, call it gut instinct, I just didn’t know how until I read your article here!

        My final thought, I see you’ve mentioned many times now in these comments about how facebook’s M.O. is to keep changing things. I concur, (I guess like supermarkets so they keep us confused, which instead makes me leave the store!), in fact my rubber stamp on that would be, “this site is NEVER going to move out of BETA and we’re all the testers!”

    • randa trella says:

      Thanks,I’ll have to check my likes for that.

  20. It’s hilarious. You spend the article telling people why they shouldn’t share things on FB, and end it by telling people to share this on FB.
    I jest. I knew what the purpose was of the likes and share. But you’ve summed it well. I never, ever click the likes, and rarely share. But I’ll share this one. Good article. I hope all my friends see this and quit polluting my newsfeed with their shares.

    • garymoyers says:

      Guilty as charged. :) But, the point was not that you shouldn’t share. Just be careful in clicking on what others share. Thanks!

  21. Figures, It’s like someone who starts a let’s say ‘public forum’ page in the commnity to keep them up to date with goings in in their area. Next thing the dude has like 20000 followers. Then they start asking donations and in 5 months time he’s a million bucks richer…

  22. thanks to one of my friends they shared all your information many thanks will now share and off course like this info :) x some you can work out isn’t real but am pretty sure we all get caught out somewhere thank you and will share this on my wall.

  23. Hey Gary,

    Always glad to learn something new. Here is my question. How are we to know which type of image or program we “Like” is legit? I mean not EVERYONE is a scammer. Besides the weird pics and those with sad sob stories. (Some of which could be true) is their a better way to detect these frauds at first glance?

    D.K. Miller
    Manchester, TN

    P.S. What type of music & ministry do you sport?

    • garymoyers says:

      That’s the trouble. It’s getting to where you need the wisdom of Solomon to know what’s real and what’s not.

      Regarding my ministry, I sang with a contemporary Christian a cappella group called Acappella for 15 years. Two of the former members and I are in the early stages of forming a new group called Chasing David. You can see more about it at http://chasingdavid.com. Thanks for asking!

      • Oh WOW! I loved listening to Acappella! I just never knew the names of the group. AMAZING works of Art. Please keep me posted on your up and coming New Group Chasing David. I love the new groups name too. A BIG fan of David. But I think you are right it is getting harder and harder to decide what is real and what is not. I like to go to http://www.snopes.com/ to see if a story is real or not. Sometimes this tends to help. When in doubt, check it out.

  24. Gary, I play Farmtown on Facebook and often click on the “Like” button when I have claimed a bonus or product from other players. Is this type of “Like” okay and/or safe? I do it primarily so that I can tell whether I’ve collected a bonus or not. I would appreciate a reply.

    • garymoyers says:

      I think that’s probably ok. This kind of thing will also show up in your friends timeline, but it’s something they can hide pretty easily and you’re not farming for likes. Go for it!

      • I would still suggest caution – “Like” on a product offered as a prize in a game can easily be directed to a like farm – could it not? I don’t play FB games, take FB surveys, and try to avoid all “suggested posts” as well as FB ads. They are all there primarily to harvest your “likes” – some honestly just as part of their business and some with other motives. If I see something that looks interesting, I Google it outside of FB. I treat FB like I do email. I assume everything is of shady origin unless I can tell it is not. I don’t forward chain emails and I don’t propagate the FB equivalent. With a few exceptions.

        Great and timely article to be liked and shared!

  25. Good article. Think I’ll go on an unliking binge for the next half hour.

  26. There is no “LIKES” category under my “MORE” tab on my homepage….just MUSIC and GROUPS. Where would I find my LIKES if its not there?

    • garymoyers says:

      Go to your personal page, the one located at https://www.facebook.com/*yourusername*. You’ll see your banner image at the top (if you’ve added one). In the lower left of that banner you’ll see your Facebook ID pic. Next to that is your name. Directly under all this is a line of links. It will probably look something like:
      Timeline About Photos Friends MORE

      There’s your “more” button. It will have a down arrow beside it. Open it up and LINKS should be about 6 down on the menu.

  27. robertbluesman says:

    guilty as charged…
    been prey to fake sidebar ads redirecting to a minefield of virus laden links asking me to ‘like’ or otherwise divulge personal data in order to unlock their promised content…bad news!
    thanks for your heads up.

  28. Hi Gary!

    Fantastic article which I’ll be reposting! I think you’ve given a GREAT explanation of the shadow side of the seeming lightwork of “liking” people’s posts. Basically, “think before doing ANYTHING on the net” is a good axiom by which I can live. (I do not arrogate to speak for OTHER, only for my own experiences with FB.) And it can have the collateral effect of exercising our logic muscles as we work through the permutations of what effects our actions have.

    I’m a business shaman with an internet marketing team beside whom I’m blessed to work. We LOVE getting “likes” on my posts because we’ve worked hard to find fun, engaging, informative, empowering material for those who grace me with following me on my FB pages. I’m transparent about how my beloveds’ likes, comments, and shares increase my Edgerank (that pesky little… um… er… BEHEMOTH of an algorithm ;-D) so that more and more people can get free access to my posts. One of my goals is to empower people around how they use corporate rules of engagement to actually heal, strengthen, and brighten their lives as well as their internet-supported businesses.

    I say all of this in order to contextualize why I ASK people to like, share, and comment on my posts. I WANT that exposure. I’m EXCITED to figure out how to engage people more and more… I just want to ensure that 1) I do it ethically and authentically by giving value for their hearts, mind, souls, and lives; and 2) I model how to play by the rules with love, caring, snarky graciousness (;-D), and commitment to ALL of our prosperities, whether it’s abundance that’s financial, generally secular, and/or spiritual.

    If you have suggestions about how to better encourage people to actually DIVE in and USE the internet megalith algorithms (Panda, Penguin, Edgerank, Pagerank, etc.) — instead of running away from a game that, as business people, we need to play better and more (not worse and less) — I’d love to hear what those suggestions might be.

    And if you got this far in this long post ;-D, please know that I MEANT it to be short, LOL! I just was/am very moved by the radical honesty of what you presented. THANK YOU for bringing these nuanced results — and how to hold ourselves better accountable for our actions (as on Facebook, so in life!) — to light. NICELY DONE!!!

    My Story. Stickin’ to it.
    Julie Woods
    The Urban Bliss Shaman™

    • garymoyers says:

      Thanks Julie. Wonderful comment. I appreciate it.

      Getting people to jump in and use the prevalent algorithms is another thing entirely. And probably a whole series of posts. Great suggestion. Thanks again. It sounds like you are definitely one of the “good guys” who does things the right way. Keep it up.

  29. I’ve often felt these emotionally guided “likes” was a form of power and control, wondering if someone was sitting there gleefully clapping because they got 100,000 people to do Simon Sez by pressing “like”. If people would stop and think about how many times they click “like” just because they agree with a sentiment instead of thinking about the back end of that “like” then we could all stop being “sheeple” Pressing “like” just because it says so in the post doesn’t mean you HAVE to, yet they do. I have caught myself doing that a few times myself but I also catch myself not doing it more often. Now that I “like” Thanks for the post! Good info.

    • garymoyers says:

      You bet. Sounds like you had the same suspicions I did. Glad the veil is pulled away. Spread the word.

  30. I just tried to follow your advice to ‘unlike’ in FB. My more drop down menu doesn’t have an ‘unlike’ option. It only has options for books, movies, tv shows, etc.

    Am I looking in the wrong place?

    • garymoyers says:

      Go to your personal page, the one located at https://www.facebook.com/*yourusername*. You’ll see your banner image at the top (if you’ve added one). In the lower left of that banner you’ll see your Facebook ID pic. Next to that is your name. Directly under all this is a line of links. It will probably look something like:
      Timeline About Photos Friends MORE

      There’s your “more” button. It will have a down arrow beside it. Open it up and LINKS should be about 6 down on the menu.

  31. Most interesting. I own a page, but haven’t noticed it sneaking into my newsfeeds (yet). I will go look at what I’ve liked and get rid of what I think is inconsequential. That way, maybe I can clean up my friends’ newsfeeds as a result of mine being cleaner.
    Thanks for the informative article!

  32. Great article, thanks for the info.

  33. Eckstein says:

    I’m a little confused how people didn’t know this before. This isn’t an issue that has only been on the net since Facebook started. Links in emails are just as bad and dangerous as hijacked “likes” and those have been around since email was born.

    IMO, this is just hackers taking advantage of people who haven’t taken the initiative to understand what they’re doing on the internet. That’s nobody’s fault but their own.

    • garymoyers says:

      Exactly. And that’s why I posted this, so that people can understand that there is a way around this. For now.

  34. A few questions: Liking an individual post doesn’t automatically like the page it came from, right? You’re not guaranteed to get future updates from that page unless you also went and explicitly liked the page too, right? Now a like to a post will help that post turn up for people who already liked the page, but the amount of page likes generated by a post has got to be a small fraction of the post likes.

    You also talked about the page selling ads. Presumably these are unofficial ads not sanctioned by FB and in the form of regular posts (that may not even say they’re sponsored). They couldn’t be FB’s own ads, since I don’t think a page can run those and profit from them (and they couldn’t be porn if they were run as FB official ads either).

    • garymoyers says:

      You are correct. Liking a post rather than a page is less severe in ramifications. But, if you like a post and 10,000 other people do as well, this post will continue to show up in your post and your friend’s post, per Facebook’s algorithms.

      As far as ads are concerned, it could be any of what you mentioned. Ads designed as regular posts or ads bought for the sidebar, which are now showing up as suggested posts in the regular stream. Profit from official FB ads comes from what happens when you arrive at the site, not from the ad itself. And yes, there have been official FB ads that led to disguised porn sites. Facebook tries to monitor that pretty closely, but some have slipped through, as have malware sites.

  35. Thank you for this information!

    I removed ‘likes’ to books, movies, music; some appalling that must have been attached to something I ‘liked’ on a friend’s page.

    While in the ‘More’ section I notice that at least 20-50 ‘suggested’ movies, books and music come up which have to be deleted manually every 5 minutes or so. Is there a spam folder for Facebook? Is it necessary to delete all the suggestions or is that the same as ‘unsubscribing’ to spam e-mail, which does more harm than good?

    I also edited my profile as my friends already know me and I don’t need to give identity thieves any help.

    Thank you again for you information

  36. markmayo says:

    I’ve recently deleted all my “likes”. It’s been a fairly tedious process of going through my whole activity log, deleting and unliking everything. I’m trying to lessen my digital footprint you see. But, in my “Likes” it list I have 22 likes, when in reality I only have 6. I’m assuming that I have liked things in the past and now that page is defunct, so it is still in my numbers.

  37. Thanks for the article! I have tried explaining this to people many times but they apparently don’t believe unless they see it on Facebook! So I shared it :) One thing I have noticed is every time I figure out how to clear ads and these types of things off my news feed, Facebook changes something and I have to start all over again! :/

    • garymoyers says:

      Yes, FB is very good at changing things just as we figure it out. I’m sure that’s intentional.

  38. Gran Kakar says:

    Sir if we recommend or share this page of yours, it may be beneficial to you in the same way u shared in your blog. . . This is business world. We should let the people do business. But we should avoid liking any non-ethical content . . . Anyhow, your blog is too much helpful so i am sharing it on my timeline. If you get benefitted from it, it will be my pleasure.

  39. I actually do not have anything under my “MORE” button. When I hoover my cursor over it, or try to click it, nothing happens.

    • garymoyers says:

      Make sure you’re at the correct “more.” Go to your personal page, the one located at https://www.facebook.com/*yourusername*. You’ll see your banner image at the top (if you’ve added one). In the lower left of that banner you’ll see your Facebook ID pic. Next to that is your name. Directly under all this is a line of links. It will probably look something like:
      Timeline About Photos Friends MORE

      There’s your “more” button. It will have a down arrow beside it. Open it up and LINKS should be about 6 down on the menu.

      • It may be that you haven’t ‘liked’ pages but have only ‘liked’ friend’s posts and pictures? I’m not sure but I just spent 1/2 hour ‘UN-liking’ all music, games, movies, books, pages etcetera that were in the drop down under ‘more’. There were several items I never remember ‘liking’! NOW the drop down tab under ‘more’ is empty. although I have plenty of ‘likes’ to my friends personal posts and pictures.

        Chris

        • That first one was for Gary.

          Chris… I tried liking a page just to see if that was the case, but it wasn’t. I still get nothing when I click the “MORE” button.

      • Yeah that’s where I found it too. Still doesn’t work.

  40. Badogspike says:

    Thank you… cleaned out my Likes… quite a few from overseas sources…. I had no idea of.

  41. Thanks, I’ve always been uncomfortable hitting “like”, or commenting on a post, only to realize that it now shows up in my friends’ ticker or news feed. (Most of my friends claim they uncheck the comments section, but how can I really know?). I plan to be much more quiet of FB fro now on.

  42. I sometimes follow the lead back to the source before I like. does and if it looks suspicious or is a dead in I don’t like does that help?

    • garymoyers says:

      You bet! The more info you can figure out, there better your options. Unfortunately, FB is designed for quick interaction. No one really does what you suggest. If you have time, go for it!

  43. Stephanie says:

    Thank you so much for the article. I’ve felt uncomfortable from the beginning with the types of posts you mentioned, now I know why! I especially despise the ones that I see that say “share if you love Jesus, ignore if you don’t care. Dang it, I don’t need some stupid post on FB to let Jesus know I love Him! Since I had iffy feelings about these things I’ve just ignored them from the start. Now I’m so glad that I have. Always follow your first gut feeling and don’t “go with the crowd”!

  44. And here is something else about Facebook that people really need to be more aware of as well.

    http://www.wbir.com/watercooler/article/276411/141/TN-mom-shocked-to-find-sons-photos-on-bogus-blog

  45. L'Optimiste says:

    Wouldn’t it be easier to select the people from whom one wants to receive updates? If someone consistently “Likes” something to the point of losing all critical thinking process, perhaps that person really has nothing to say and not worth reading. Go to your friend’s settings and deselect the option to receive notifications. However, it seems people are reluctant to do that because they soon find out that nobody else wants to share anything worthwhile with them? Facebook sure has a way of making someone feel “liked”. That is probably why they cannot say no to friend requests from people they have never met.

  46. Gary, so glad to hear about the new group!!! We are long time Acapella fans and have a few CDs from the “old days”!! Will definitely be following the new group!
    Cheryl

    • garymoyers says:

      Thanks Cheryl. We’re pretty excited about it. Things are beginning to roll on it and it’s beginning to take shape. Who knows what will happen? God’s in control.

  47. Thanks Gary, Great article. I just got put in “Facebook Prison” for getting too many likes on one of my pages, and believe me it wasn’t a lot. They make the rules, but they allow so much crap to slip by.

    • garymoyers says:

      Seriously? I’ve not heard of that happening before? Tell me about it, did they freeze your page or suspend you or something? How many likes did you have?

  48. Isn’t there a difference between liking and sharing a post and liking a fan page?

    Are we talking about apples and oranges? Are you saying that if I like something in a post, not a fan page, that post with my like goes to all my friends?

    • garymoyers says:

      It has the capability to do so. Sharing something automatically sends it out to 33% of your friends (you have to pay to get it to 100%). But liking and commenting on something, anything, opens it up so that it can go to your friends. The more activity that particular thing gets, the more the FB algorithms start sharing it. Understand?

  49. Nice article, however some times people set up the pages, not for profit but for knowledge philanthropy. Community groups and environmentalists are using this type of approach to spread the word on other than profit making activities.

    Can i suggest you do another article, speaking about both sides of the coin.

    Regards
    Tony

    • garymoyers says:

      Thanks for the thought. In no way was I suggesting that the pages themselves were bad. It’s pretty easy to spot a link farmer. There’s a big difference in community and philanthropy-based pages to pages dedicated to “soft kittens.” Know what I mean?

  50. george hankins, husband of Janet (Bright-LCC ) says:

    Hey Gary a FB friend of mine shared your blog. Good to see you! We continue to be blessed by your recorded music. Blessings on your adventure…I did share the article about the “Like” button.
    Blessings,
    George

    • garymoyers says:

      Hey George… good to hear from you. Thanks for sharing. I saw your friend request. Thanks!

  51. lilmcgill says:

    Ok so I have gotten to the “like” pull down menu from “more”. I would like to “dislike”but I can’t figure out how.

    • garymoyers says:

      When you get to the page that shows all your likes, you’ll be looking at a bunch of square pictures. Hover in the upper right hand corner of any picture and a drop down box will appear that gives you the option to unlike. Good luck!

      • R Weber says:

        Thanks! Did the “like” purge a bit and found some odd things but will need to go spend time looking more closely at some of the other stuff there. More importantly perhaps, I just tried “sharing” this article with the group I made to send messages to my kids. Guess what! I got a notice that my FB webpage was trying to shut itself down and asking if I wanted it to do that. Would that mean that FB is trying to keep me from sharing your article? I did anyway. Hope my kids follow your advice.

        • garymoyers says:

          Wow, that’s kinda spooky. I have no idea how that would happen. Hope it ended up well.

          • R Weber says:

            I just chose not to let the web page shut down and continued posting it to the group. Your article is on the wall now so they saw it. B.t.w., it’s nice to know you guys are back and singing! enjoyed listening on your webpage and hope to go hear you if you come to Knoxville.

  52. How do you tell if it a nice hard working artist like myself that has a page for my art and nice happy art quotes? I hope everyone does not unlike my page because of the bad ones I am really having fun with my page and would like to share my art with the world. I get to talk to other artist ect.. and sell my work on my store page. What I am asking is how do I tell this bad stuff from folks like me using facebook pages the way they are intended to be used? I think I have liked some of the bad ones because I have a big heart and I like quotes as much as anyone.

    • garymoyers says:

      As I mentioned to someone earlier in the comments, I think it’s pretty easy to tell the difference between a real page dedicated to something and a fake page dedicated to fluffy kittens. Just think twice and look a little deeper when you see something you want to like. Good luck!

  53. So,is it as bad as NBC and the rest running their phony news?

    When I post and get responses from those I know, it is worth the risk, it is that or hide under a rock.

    Perhaps you could design hardware so we could identify the abusers and where they are.

    Dan Stuart

  54. I know on my art page facebook offers me to do whats called bust post and they offer you to make a add for a small fee. I am a starving artist so I have built my page by word of friends the hard way. I hope things keep going for my page it has brought joy to my likes and myself. I can even share my work in progress. How do I make sure nun of these bad ones use my post for bad stuff or do they only use there own? How did they get this sweet child’s photo?

    • garymoyers says:

      Facebook has a clause in their Terms of Service, which you have agreed to or you wouldn’t have an account, that they can use your name or likeness for whatever they wish to promote Facebook. So, regarding their use, you are free game. As far as others using your info or likeness, like Mallory, that is illegal but very hard to eliminate. In most cases, people never know their picture or material has been used. There’s not any good way to keep them from doing something like that, unfortunately.

  55. I looked under the ‘More’ button on my profile page and there is not a ‘likes’ on the drop down menu.
    Does that mean I’ve inadvertently done something right??!!!!

  56. Rebecca says:

    Ok, you’ve posted this many times, and I think I’ve read every one, but still only see “places, music, notes, pinterest” under my “more” button when I’m at http://www.facebook.com/user.name (with the . between my first and last name) When I go to http://www.facebook.com/username (no period), it’s someone else’s FB page. Someone else, with the same name, and she has “likes” under that “more” button. I feel like I fell in the rabbit hole!

    • garymoyers says:

      That does sound rather strange. I would try it again in a couple of days. Who knows what FB is doing in the background? Thanks for reading.

    • @Rebecca…your FB page doesn’t necessarily have a period in its user name. Many people have the same first and last names, so there are different user names for all of them–some use periods, some do not. To find out for sure what YOUR page is, just click on your own name when you’re on your Facebook Home (newsfeed) page. Then when you get to that page look at the URL in the address bar. That’s YOUR page and your URL–and it may or may not have a period in it. And once you’re on the page, under the cover photo (if you have one) is the MORE link–and that is where you’ll find Likes, if you have any.

  57. Steve Dinkowitz says:

    Thanks for the explanation and exhortation to be cautious.

    Regarding the “more” button; several replies indicate only “groups” in the drop-down, myself included. Could it be that because we have been exceptionally careful about what we’ve ‘liked’ (ocd scam-savvy?) that there are not “likes” in the drop-down?

    I reviewed my timeline activity just a bit, and could only spot ‘likes’ to friends stuff, including an occasional friend’s fb page.

  58. Hi Gary! I don’t have a comment about the article, it is a well written article btw, but wanted to say Hi! We used to come to all the Acappella concerts in Kansas and Oklahoma. My husbands group, Heart’s Journey even opened for you and came to Paris, TN to sing in a workshop with you guys. I was really surprised to see your face show up in my newsfeed and wanted to come and say hello!

    • garymoyers says:

      Hey! It’s good to hear from you again. I think I remember when they came to Tennessee. For ACMS, right? Is he still singing?

  59. Have none of you heard of Adblocker? I have had it installed for years now, and no more ads, so whatever I am liking, which is then generating ads back at me, is having no effect whatsoever. It’s a free Firefox App (I have not found one for Safari) and it also deletes the ad breaks on commercial online TV!

  60. Gordon Robbins says:

    Thanks Gary. I followed your instructions and unliked almost all that I had, evidently, previously liked. So THAT explains why I get the ads that I’ve been getting!

    • garymoyers says:

      Exactly. Congratulations! Keep watching your account settings. “Like creep” will happen.

  61. Tammy L Field says:

    Thanks for the information. Just had a massive clear-out of all my ‘unwanted’ likes :)

  62. Mary Jo says:

    Thank you! I am now more enlightened about FB and usefully so. Had no idea that all these movies and books and likes and this and that were supposed to represent me. All gone, bye bye. Keeping what I like, love & enjoy. Happy!!!

  63. I did what you suggested and saw a lot of “likes” on my page that I never liked. How did they get there in the first place without me “liking”?

    • garymoyers says:

      As I mentioned in the article, you may have liked something in the past which has since changed identities. That’s the essence of like farming.

  64. Barb Searle says:

    Hi Gary, thanks for this – the thing I find strange though is if ‘liking’ something automatically spreads it to all your friends inboxes – then what is the point of the ‘share’ button? One is obviously open and the other is covert ? x

    • garymoyers says:

      The share button will share it to your friends list… actually only 1/3 of your list. You have to promote your post for everyone to see it. Liking a page or commenting on something makes it available for dissemination throughout your friends based on the popularity of the post itself. So, the more people see it, the more it will appear throughout your list. It’s a bit different, but same result in the end.

  65. Facebook have several things they do that you need to be aware of in order to manage your personal information.

    The first is that if you ever click OK to allow a platform application (play a game, contribute to a survey, anything really) then at that moment you have given them permission to use any of your information any way they please.

    However, my recommendation is that you treat anything on Facebook as public information. Only put there information you are OK with everyone on the planet knowing.

    The secodn is that if you are logged into Facebook, then they track every website you go to. So if you don’t want them know, then log in, do some stuff, then log out.

    And the Like feature does work the way it is explained here. So understand it and use it as it suits you, not them.

  66. Angelika says:

    I agree with this wholeheartedly. I actually never shared those pictures and sites you described. Also the pictures with sick babies (tumor and stuff) that say: “for every like facebook will give a dollar” are just there for the numbers, yeah there is money, but not for the baby or whoever. Besides, it is definitly “playing with someone’s pain and agony”.

    @Clark: I don’t know how it is about the backwards pincode – but regarding the 112: It might not work in the USA but in the European Union it is the number you need to know.
    Anyhow everyone should know the national emergency numbers – and when you travel abroad, you should look it up beforehand and not just trust any random posts on facebook.

    Angelika

  67. Elspeth Durrand says:

    Thanks for this enlightening article. I have been trying to educate my friends to stop some of the horrendous animal abuse pictures appearing on my feed. I asked them today – in my status to stop hitting like for these. I copied a link to this too so they can read and decide for themselves. Thank you.

    • garymoyers says:

      My pleasure. Just be aware that when you see one of these post, there is a drop down menu in the upper right of the post that gives you some options for hiding, including blocking the sender or blocking the page that sent it.

  68. Noticed that they’re “hooking” a lot of folks w/political issues as well. I reposted this to give notice to my friends who are definitely hooked on the politics of the day – which I do not repost. I do my own research and DO NOT LIKE what I see and & refuse to forward the $$$ garbage. I will do my best to review my own likes from now on before I send onto their merry way to $profiteer land$.

  69. Brilliant Gary – thanks! Vent your spleen by sharing this rubbish here!

    My frustration was at the poor political arguments, illogicality, manipulative sentimentality, lack of objective reasoning – and the rest. Now I understand the economic motivations – cheers!

    I found if you spend time disagreeing with people who post these things then it can take a lot of your time up – so doubling the initial frustration.

    My solution is simple – share this rubbish here on the page I set up – saves me a lot of time and angst! Ha!

  70. Tom Wilson says:

    You’ve proven what I’ve been saying all along, Gary. People get suckered everyday on the internet and you’ve brought it out in the open for everyone to read. But, will this stop the creeps out there from continuing their nefarious deeds? No. It won’t, but the enlightened among us will surely pass it along just to show our support for at least trying.

    A comment I’ve made countless times, (although not really attributed to the famous Barnum) “Barnum was right.”

  71. Patricia says:

    Recently I saw my picture and a comment supposedly from me commenting on a great new product called Raspberry that I had supposedly lost 12 pounds in 9 days by taking this stuff. It looked for all the world that I had posted it, complete with my profile picture. Unfortunately, before I saw it, one of my co-workers saw it and believed that I had posted it, and because of that, she ordered this stuff. How can this happen, and how can I prevent it from happening again?

    • garymoyers says:

      That is not something Facebook would do. They have the right to say you’ve “liked” something, even if it is remotely related to a page you may have liked. But they will not do a full-on endorsement. That is outright identity theft. I wonder if Lifelock looks for that kind of thing? But they might be based on social security number protection only.

  72. Isn’t there a difference between liking and sharing a post and liking a fan page?

    Are we talking about apples and oranges? Are you saying that if I like something in a post, not a fan page, that post with my like goes to all my friends?

    • garymoyers says:

      It’s more like green apples and red apples. Sharing something automatically send it to 33% of your friends (you have to pay to get it to them all). Liking or commenting on something makes it available for your friends to see, based on the popularity of the post. The more people like and comment, the better chance it has of showing up in your friends newsfeed.

  73. grannygear says:

    I just checked and realized a few pages are liked simply to follow what the person is doing, even though I do not like the person and am against everything they stand for! Facebook has been very good for me to keep tabs on certain people.

    The one that gets me is when they LIE on FB and tell you a friend liked something when they certainly did not.

  74. everything that anyone posts goes on all their friends news feed whether or not anyone clicks like. If you don’t want those things on your news feed limit what you get from the peopole on your friend list. to do so click on their name which accompanies one of their posts. Choose the option pf your choice. I personally don’t have a problem with whatever anyone posts or likes and ends up on my news feed. It is social media after all. If you really just can’t stand seeing what someone else is having for dinner, pictures what their children are doing every 20 minutes, or their political/religious views, private message them or unfriend them, better yet,close your fb account. This is social meadia after all. If you aren’t going to be social what’s the purpose of being on fb?

  75. Thanks! I just unlike several groups, some of which I never ‘liked’ in the first place. (very interesting!)

    One question: There were several that had a blue circle with a checkmark after their name. Do you have any idea what those are? Would appreciate hearing any insight you might have.

    • garymoyers says:

      Thanks Jerry. I’m not sure about the blue checkmark. Any other readers here know what it is?

    • Maybe I’m paranoid, but this kind of thing makes me wonder if FB doesn’t have more than one interface and they are upgraded asynchronously. We already know that FB regularly changes the interface and at least some of the reason is to make it harder for the users to make appropriate choices regarding their privacy. But having multiple interfaces would make it that much harder for people to help others make good choices.

      In any case, I looked and I can’t see any blue checkmarks, nor do I remember seeing them in the past. But I am a member of only 1 group, and I don’t plan on adding to that.

  76. So I’ve been wondering how I can look up something on google or buy something on ebay & then all of a sudden the ads on my FB page are full of those items I looked up!!! How does FB know what I’ve looked up on different sites….that’s what spooks me!!!

    • garymoyers says:

      The wonderful world of cookies. All browsers have cookie functionality built in, which allows websites to see what you’ve been searching or looking at. That allows them to direct related ads at you when you go to a site. For instance, if I’ve been looking for a recipe for Key Lime Pie (which is the most amazing thing in the world) and then I hop on Facebook, FB will then check their embedded cookies on my computer, see that I’ve been searching for Key Lime Pie (which is the most amazing thing in the world) and boom… I see a suggested post for a bakery company that makes Key Lime Pies (which is the most amazing thing in the world). You can turn off cookies in your browser under the browser settings.

    • Grannygear says:

      T, install Ghostery. It blocks trackers. You would be surprised to see how many there are. Does not get rid of all ads, but many!

  77. I am definitely at the right “more” button but the only drop-down option I get is “notes” :(

  78. Margaret ~merc~ says:

    I also think the Like and Share button is a way to keep track of us.

  79. Jan Luther says:

    When I get a post that says some of my friends “like” a post that is an advertisement of some store or something, if I hit the X and report it as spam, does that affect those friends at all. So what I’m saying is that does it unfriend me from those friends. Also, is there a better way to get rid of the Ads?
    Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention.

    • garymoyers says:

      If I understand it correctly, reporting an ad as spam that has been “liked” by a friend does not hurt your FB relationship with that friend. It just blocks that ad from reoccurring on your newsfeed.

  80. Nancy Babbitt says:

    This is very interesting, but liking and un-liking a FB page is not the same as liking and un-liking an individual post that has been shared through a news feed.

    This blog post seems to be about liking and un-liking individual posts while the instructions given are concerning un-liking pages.

    There seems to be some inconsistency there. Am I missing something?

    • garymoyers says:

      The posts you are dealing with come from the pages you wish to unlike. You can hide the post and block the sender, or you can go to the page and unlike it. The difference lies in the fact that sometimes you have not liked the page, you have just commented and/or liked a post from the page. Either way, it opens it up to your news feed and your friends feeds. It’s all somewhat confusing, and I believe they make it that way on purpose.

  81. Drunken Brewer says:

    Am I the only one who finds it ironic that there is a ‘Like’ button just to the left of this article with over 60k likes?

    • garymoyers says:

      Haha. No irony intended Jason. I am not maligning the use of the Like button. I think it’s great when used properly, to share info and legitimate stuff. My complaint is the abuse of the like button… using it as a Like Farm in order to make money by switching identities and selling it or using the fan base for advertising. I am trying to be as up front as possible. No hidden agenda with my like button. Thanks.

  82. Thanks Gary,
    I just went on my Like page to delete those not wanted, and it was incredible how many there were that I wasn’t even interested in.
    I should have done this long ago.
    Thank you again.
    I have subscribed to your blog.
    Eric

  83. c.madison says:

    Hi, I also do not have a Like Link. I also read that you are adding more content, but I cannot find this either. Please let me know how to find this information. Thanks so much. c.

    • garymoyers says:

      Try this… I got this from another commenter:

      I had to go to my profile, then click the Activity button – then the new screen has likes on the left side. I couldn’t get to it the way the directions show as there have been changes to how FB works since this article was published.

  84. Terri A says:

    FYI: I had to go to my profile, then click the Activity button – then the new screen has likes on the left side. I couldn’t get to it the way the directions show as there have been changes to how FB works since this article was published.

  85. Thank you, Gary, for putting this article out there for all to read and be more informed!
    Thank you, too, for your polite, respectful, helpful responses.
    Much obliged,
    Susan

  86. Barb McLean (Bare) says:

    Can you tell me, Does Hitting REMOVE on these insidious adds and games and such do anything? or is it a waste of time to REMOVE them

    Thank you for this information. I truly wish more people were informed, its as if things like this become their own “virus” in a sense the way they grab your list of friends and spams them as well.

    • garymoyers says:

      I agree, it is very virus-like in its effect. Hitting remove will certainly remove the ad from ever showing again. And you may also be presented an option to block the sender of the ad. But, there will always be more to fill its spot. Facebook is a profit entity and the ad list is very very long.

  87. The other side of all this, is the power for good that your Like has: If you like the page of small businesses near you, of non-profits doing good works… if you visit these pages and promote their links, for all the same reasons you promote that which is good and positive, and you put it in front of more people. Harness it, turn it around, use your “Like” consciously and with positive intent, and it becomes a Good Thing.

    • garymoyers says:

      EXACTLY! Thank you for saying that. The Like button is very effective and positive if used correctly. But like everything else, people find a way to prostitute it, so to speak.

  88. None of these “secrets” are actually secrets. Or, not for people who actually know how to use FB. Take this for example:

    “Someone creates a page and starts posting photos, inspirational quotes or other innocent content. You like the page and it now shows up regularly in your news feed. Anytime you interact with a post, that activity shows up in your friends news feeds.The more likes the page gets, the more it shows up. The more comments each picture gets, the more power the page gets in the Facebook news feed algorithm. And that makes it more and more visible”

    If you Like a Page, that is the same as subscribing to it. Updates from it show up in your news feed and, if you have your settings permit it, it tells your friends that you like the Page. This is called viral marketing. This is how businesses broaden awareness across a huge, dynamic market. I have a business page on FB and I love getting new likes because it means that my reach is expanding to new people that I might not otherwise reach. This comment: “The more likes the page gets, the more it shows up…the more power the page gets in the Facebook news feed algorithm. And that makes it more and more visible” Duh. That’s the point.

    True, if you have liked a Page and comment on its posts, then those comments will show up in the newsfeed your friends see from you – if your settings allow it. Same for liking posts from liked pages. Learn how to adjust your settings and use the tool.

    “These ads then show up in your newsfeed and they could be links to almost anything… games, services, apps, even porn. It could be a recommendation from someone else who likes the page, most likely someone from your friends list. The recommendation is usually for something in an online store that offers commissions for links that end up in purchases. Worse of all, it could even link to malware sites.”

    What??? Ads lead to links to buy stuff? Revolutionary idea! Where do I sign up for the porn one? Seriously. This is another “Duh” comment. OMG – malware! What is this, Geocities? If you don’t actually like it or think it looks fake or weird, don’t Like it. It really is that simple.

    Yes, some people are just trying to get likes or post stupid crap. It’s up to the user to use common sense when liking and sharing on social sites. Only like things that come from actual friends and that you actually recognize and like and don’t click through to things that look bizarre or stupid or off-base for the things that you usually keep track of on your newsfeed. And, most of all, learn how to use your settings!

    • Please know that I hear you about the obviousness of some of the suggestions here. At the same time, I invite you to ALSO see how many good-hearted folks DON’T know what you know. I try to not arrogate to speak for others or, on the other side, to arrogate to assume that everyone knows what I know… particularly in my areas of expertise. Every knowledgeable/ logical/ savvy person started with beginner’s mind, with not-knowing… I figure that’s even true for you, in this realm.

      My request is that you be patient with those of us who don’t have your knowledge, however or whenever you acquired it. Sometimes I believe we get caught up in the wonder and majick of the connectivity that is now possible in the virtual REALITY of the internet… and it’s easy to so lost in it that we think the rules of privacy and obvious activity — which apply in our physical reality — also apply on our computers. Granted, social sites WANT us to think like that — calling complete strangers “friends” and ONLY giving us a “like” option so backend snafus become too overwhelming to straighten out! ;-D — yet posts/ threads such as this one help us learn things you already know.

      Again, I invite your patience and encouragement. Perhaps you can help some of us be better able to clear the privacy and security morasses in which we find ourselves. I’m just grateful, in this moment, to Gary for waking me up about this: I just spent several HOURS getting everything cleaned up in the backend of my FB!!! I used every suggestion I could find in this thread.

      And please don’t take offense or blast me here… I just feel like there are some folks who are being REALLY BRAVE about what they DON’T know — in a world that gets snarky and condescending with those who are learning — and I’m hoping that that doesn’t happen much here.

      Blessings
      Julie Woods

      • Kudos to you for both the explanation and the willingness to learn!

        As one of those with a strong focus on security, I’ve been aware of this issue, although without Gary’s level of understanding. I’ve tried to suggest before that people write a comment instead of hitting “Like” and that they copy the URL and make their own post instead of reposting. Both of these are more trouble, but force FB to employ a human if they want to decide where you are on a subject, rather than being about to build your profile on what you “Like.” However I often feel like the poster boy for the, “Leading a horse to water”, saying.

        It’s encouraging to note that there are people willing to learn. Again, kudos!

        • ::bow::

          I’m working on how to empower my followers to take the extra steps. If/ when I come up with something that gets good results, I’ll be sure to share it!

          Gary: I see that one woman unsubscribed because there were too many posts on this thread. Is there a way to move this over to an official forum so our diligence doesn’t have your fans opting out? Please let me know how to behave well in Garyland — I LOVE the info I’ve received here and am subscribing to other things I find from you. Do have have a favourite place where I can learn from your practical wisdoms? Please lmk!

  89. R. McGill says:

    Thank you for this post. I have often wondered if there was an ulterior motive behind all of the “Likes”!

    • garymoyers says:

      You bet. I don’t think the motive was darkly ulterior in the beginning, but people have abused it and made it so.

  90. Cindy Lee says:

    Hi Gary,

    I too want to thank you big time for this eye-opening blog. There is one thing missing though …. Several other people have added some terrific suggestions as well, and I found myself tempted several times to click the “Like” button that doesn’t exist!! LOL Maybe an “I Concur” button would be useful!! :P Cheers!! :)

  91. Grannygear says:

    I have unsubscribed from these posts – 109 messages in one day just crowds my email, and there is not option for a once a week notification, so buh-bye!

  92. One more reason to distrust FB. I don’t use my last name on FB and I never filled in the background info (education/employer/etc) and FB is constantly asking me to “complete” my profile! They want my data, bad! Once I googled myself and found (innocent) comments I had made on some random FB pages so I stopped commenting, too. They were questions on a breastfeeding support page so it was a bit embarrassing. I now have a “fake” FB profile, using my daughters’ middle names as my name, from which I do all my page liking and commenting.

    • garymoyers says:

      Sounds like a good approach, providing those you want to contact know what your FB name is. Had any problems with that?

      • Not really because on my personal page, I am already friends with everyone I want to be friends with. There is no one else from my past I care about being FB friends with lol. If I meet someone new, I just ask for their FB name and friend them first….

  93. I blogged about this a couple of months ago (here, if you’re interested Click “Like” if you know someone who has cancer | Khanya) and one commenter was quite vehement in defending the practice.

    But the “like” scam is just part of the wider Facebook philosophy. You think you are using a service that is paid for by advertising, but, as some have pointed out. You are not the consumer, you are the product that Facebook is selling to the advertisers.

    • garymoyers says:

      Wow, amazing insight… you are the product that Facebook is selling to the advertisers. Well said.

  94. Jason Neller says:

    I think you meant “likes” not “Links” when talking about the “more” drop-down menu. (LINKS should be about 6 down on the menu)
    All good information and advice. thanks.

  95. I did not find this article useful or informative. There is a basic rule on the internet: if you don’t understand something or you don’t trust something, then don’t click on it. There are plenty of things not to trust, e.g., strange emails with hyperlinks, but let’s not pretend that liking something on facebook is evil–the simple act alone is safe enough. The like button is not the villain here, poor knowledge of how the internet/viruses/cookies work is the real villain. You can like what you want, but don’t click on EVERY link you see.

    Additionally, I find a bit of irony in the fact that you are encouraging people NOT to like things on facebook (and give away personal information), but you require that I give you my email address if I post on your blog.

    Thanks, but no thanks.

    • garymoyers says:

      I believe you misunderstand my intention. The article is about the ABUSE of the Like button. The system of Likes is wonderful and serves a useful purpose. But there are always people who misuse it and that was the intention of the article. I’m sorry if it did not come across that way.

      And regarding the requirement of an email address to comment here, that is a small step toward curb spam. If you find that offensive, you could follow your own advice and not comment, although I see your email address is fake anyway. Thanks for reading.

    • Most blogs require email address to be left to weed out spam. You can certainly use a fake email address (which it looks like you did), so whats the big deal? Its NOT that big of a deal, but some people do like to make a mountain out of a molehill.

      • Joel Clark says:

        I was able to unlike a lot of them but one of them was resistant to getting removed and wouldn’t do anything no matter how many times I unliked it.

  96. Rob Shepherd says:

    My personal mantra for any “free” website or service.

    “If you don’t pay for the product – you ARE the product”

    I.e. somebody benefits more than you from your content/actions/behaviour.

    • garymoyers says:

      Well said. If it’s free, you still pay.

      • Francess Treadway says:

        I really enjoy reading your comments and yes, your suggestion about how to get rid of the “Women Get it For Free” worked! Also, don’t people know that “nothing in life is free?”

        Keep the education going.

        Respectfully,

        FET “Beth”

  97. Korinne says:

    This is no big shocker. The system is set up this way by Facebook exactly for the purposes of selling. I’ve been spending months trying to get ahead of this damned algorithm the honest way. As a small business, the EdgeRank algorithm is KILLING us. Facebook has deemed us irrelevant and getting into the newsfeed is nearly impossible. There have been times when I’ve posted on the business page and that hasn’t showed up in my personal newsfeed AND IT’S MY PAGE!!!

    I hate Facebook now. I used to love it, but not only do I not see my own business page, I rarely ever see content from my closest friends. Facebook has no idea what is relevant to me because they don’t know me. I’ve told my clients that we will continue to utilize FB because we have to, but I’m really focusing their online marketing to Google+ and other social media platforms. There are algorithms everywhere, but none as restrictive and, frankly, screwed up, as Facebook’s (imho).

    Thanks for the article.

    • Korinne says:

      Please excuse my typos…typing quickly before a meeting and can’t edit. :D

    • garymoyers says:

      Just a thought. If you’re looking to expand your business impact, don’t forget YouTube. Google is #1 in search, but most people don’t realize YouTube is #2. If you have a way to make consistent, acceptable quality videos, that may do more for you in the long run. Worth a try.

    • Yes, I know *exactly* what you mean. The first time that happened I thought something was glitching, but it happens enough to know that something else was going on. It also was on a business page, and you couldn’t hardly find the page.

  98. Christine says:

    If someone using FB does NOT know this is happening they are living under a rock. The only “pages” I have liked are from legitimate people that I know personally or I know their reputation. Everyone should be doing that.

    Now, I wonder how much money you made out of quarter of a million “likes” you have received because of this article. And 2 notes on that one–(1) I won’t be liking your page because I don’t know you, and (2) a quarter of a million is one of my pet peeves. 250,000 (or 250k) sounds like a lot less than a quarter of a million (not to mention fewer letters). It makes me wonder why some writers use the number in that way. Are they trying to mislead?

    With all respect for your article,

    ccb

    • garymoyers says:

      Thanks for the respect. One note of clarification since several have intimated this… I have not made a dime from the number of hits this article has had. I have no paid advertising on my site. The 2 small ads present are my personal ads, one for my website design company and one for a Western band I play with. Believe me, I would love to have had something out of it. In fact, it cost me some. My hosting plan was not ready for the viral nature of this thing and it got shut down for a few hours. I had to upgrade to the business plan. Fortunately, the host company offered to trade the upgraded plan for a small link at the bottom of my home page. So I guess I did make a little there, sort of. Thanks…

    • While I understand where you are coming from with this comment, you need to stop and think of the older people that have just recently began using computers, let alone Facebook. My mother is one of those people. I have tried explaining how these things work to her and she doesn’t understand it. I know she is one of many.

      • Gary: THANK YOU for your diligence in answering all of our posts. I’m actually going to leave the thread since I’ve fixed my FB profile and pages as best as I can. I got some FANTASTIC ideas here!

        Even more, I appreciate the graciousness, patience, and compassion you show around technology. So many people forget the human part of the interaction… that not all of us have the same backgrounds and skill sets… that not everyone thinks through to the backend ramifications of tech use… that many folks are really stretching into simply being able to turn on the computer and move around the internet… and, I think importantly, that large sectors of computer users haven’t had enough exposure to the algorithms of the internet to be “savvy” about how they work.

        Again, it’s been a pleasure, Good Sir. Blessings on your Good Work! Your heart and great intentions are clear. Please know/ remember that most of the folks on this thread deeply appreciate the thought and excellence you put into simplifying this complex subject and sharing your tech wisdoms with us!

        Blissblessings
        Julie Woods
        The Urban Bliss Shaman™

  99. I’d prefer Gary get paid than FB, and this is the first thing I ever read by Gary. :)

    I concur as a customer data analyst, unliking will do nothing for you, the data was capped when you clicked. Do what I do and like a bunch of things you’ll never be interested in. It won’t completely hide your real preferences, but at least it’ll make us analysts have to sift out the chaff and do some real work to analyze your behavior.

  100. Susan long says:

    Thanks for a great article, I have been telling friends to quit liking every solider every child cute puppy, maybe n now they will see!

  101. So NOW when I go to my profile page (under my name) my banner doesn’t even show up! Just my photo that is supposed be in the lower left. Any ideas?

    • garymoyers says:

      Oh my, no. There could be any number of issues. They may be doing some kind of update in the background, or it could be as simple as your Internet connection. I would restart your browser and try again.

      • Thanks, Gary. I figured out it’s an iPad issue. When I use my PC laptop, everything looks fine. When I use my iPad, it’s a different story. I also get fewer suggested pages etc. when using PC platform. Very strange. But I guess it’s Apple.

  102. VERY good information to have, even if FB keeps moving things around, making it harder to manage your likes/profile. Thanks for the info.

  103. What should have been included in this story – the link to the original Yahoo story, complete with video: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/upgrade-your-life/facebook-scam-alert—what-really-happens-when-you–like–150959399.html

    • garymoyers says:

      Well, this is interesting. This post ran for the first 24 hours or so as a reprint of that very article, complete with links to the original article and full accreditation that it was hers. A couple of folks called me on the carpet for “stealing material.” So, I rewrote the entire thing in my words. I even left a quote in there from Becky. And now someone is upset again. Seems you can’t win.

      My goal is not to steal anyone’s material or profit from this. I simply wanted to share this info with my small circle of friends (which has grown like crazy since this post went mini-viral). Facts are facts and I wanted people to know these facts. I am approving your comment with the links to the original so that people will know I AM NOT TRYING TO STEAL ANYTHING.

      • Can I reprint your article after changing it around a little and post it under my name, mentioning you but not linking back to your article? That’s OK, right?

        • garymoyers says:

          I’m going to go ahead and approve your not-so-subtle attempt to accuse me of theft and repost the reply I sent last time.

          This post ran for the first 24 hours or so as a reprint of that very article, complete with links to the original article and full accreditation that it was hers (Becky Worley – http://yhoo.it/14MsaOb). A couple of folks called me on the carpet for “stealing material.” So, I rewrote the entire thing in my words. I even left a quote in there from Becky. And now someone is upset again. Seems you can’t win.

          My goal is not to steal anyone’s material or profit from this. I simply wanted to share this info with my small circle of friends (which has grown like crazy since this post went mini-viral). Facts are facts and I wanted people to know these facts. I am approving your comment with the links to the original so that people will know I AM NOT TRYING TO STEAL ANYTHING.

  104. It was quite obvious what the “Like” button does, and I “like” that you mentioned about “liking” a graphic to make it move and then… crickets, as in nothing happened. Well of course. I see those all the time and some have thousands of suckers “liking” them. I think it’s quite amusing, but it’s not funny when ads for shoes pop up, or some other ad, but it is a free service, so there are going to be ads in some form or another. I do applaud the creativity of the “like farming” though.

  105. Rochelle says:

    This is great. I am in grad school studying on line media. I find its machinations fascinating. As with all things in life, if you are involved with something, like Facebook, know what you are getting involved in. Thanks for educating us!

  106. Michelle says:

    I am new to FB. So you mean that all those “Likes” that I’ve put on my own personal page, sends something to my friends’ pages?

    • garymoyers says:

      Yes. Anytime you have any activity at all, there is a strong possibility that anyone who has friended you, and has continued interaction with you, will see what you’re doing. That’s what makes the entire experience “social.”

  107. If you see all your friends’ Likes and Comments it’s your own fault. You can turn that stuff off by putting your mouse over your friend’s name, then over the Friends button. Select Settings from the dropdown menu that appear and uncheck Comments and Likes and anything else you don’t want to see.

  108. Here’s what I’ve always wondered about those kinds of posts: Does it help the like farmer if you comment on the post? Sometimes I want to comment and let everyone who can see the post know that it’s a scam, but I haven’t been sure if that would drive the page up as well, so I usually don’t.

    • garymoyers says:

      As Obi-Wan said, your insight serves you well. Commenting on posts to tell folks it’s a stupid thing to comment on a post gives the same results. They are looking for interaction. That drives up the power of the post so more people see it.

  109. So…there is a Like button for your article?

    • garymoyers says:

      Most certainly. Like if you wish. As I’ve mentioned to others, the Like system is a great tool when used responsibly. Thanks!

  110. KatieReid says:

    I may have to spend a lunch hour posting this article into scammy/meme facebook pages :3

  111. Big Macca says:

    I want to “dislike” a lot of posts, when will that button be available?!

    • garymoyers says:

      There has been a great outcry for that button for years. I don’t think it will ever happen, since that would certainly not work well for FB’s income.

  112. Gary…
    Would you mind if I translated this to Danish and used to to educate my 10yo daughter and her class mates?
    Your article is one of many on the subject (tough yours more ‘reader friendly’ ..
    Unfortunately, most that read this article will, well hopefully, are already aware about Likes and cute kittens and magic moving pictures etc (but if you cure one, then it’s a win)

    The ones that need to be educated are the tweens.. the worlds biggest marketing group. Unfortunately they are also the most difficult group to educate regarding Internet awareness.

    So I would like to use your article, in DK, and ‘tween-ify’ it so as to maybe help them learn that not every post re Justin Bieber has anything to do with Justin Bieber…. :)

    I will of course, quote/name the source, and reference this article…

    //andy

    • garymoyers says:

      Please do. I would be honored. I’ve not had the pleasure of visiting Denmark, although I’ve come close. Norway and Holland hold special memories for me.

  113. Michael says:

    Thanks for this excellent article. I always KNEW something was up with that. I figured it was a tad more sinister…

    Went there, did that and I was amazed to find a bunch of pages I’d never seen before…

    Thanks again, I’d ‘Like’ your post, but you’re obviously just after the Big Bucks!! :-)

  114. I clicked on MORE where you said to click, and there is no option called “likes”. The first one is “places” then movies, tv shows etc.

    • garymoyers says:

      Did you follow all the instructions at the bottom of the article?

    • garymoyers says:

      Here’s another option from a reader:

      You can always go to the page you’ve liked and UNLIKE it there. Where the LIKE button normally is, there will be an UNLIKE button. You can find all of your personal likes in a box on the left-hand column of your Facebook page, on your personal page. Just click your name to see your status updates, likes and more.

  115. I have a separate Facebook page to follow the big companies, stores, etc.

    I also have one email address with a strong password that I use only for Facebook. A tip from FaceCrooks. So far, so good.

  116. You can always go to the page you’ve liked and UNLIKE it there. Where the LIKE button normally is, there will be an UNLIKE button.

    You can find all of your personal likes in a box on the left-hand column of your Facebook page, on your personal page. Just click your name to see your status updates, likes and more.

  117. And actually, when I go to all of my likes right there in that box, I’m able to hover over each and every one of them and click “unlike” right from there, too.

    There are a lot of ways to unlike pesky pages :) It only takes 10-15 minutes to clean everything up.

  118. Monique says:

    It is intresting to me that you have to write this article.

    So many folks using the ‘like’ button without really knowing the full implications is surprising to me.

  119. There appears to be a nearly identical article by a yahoo writer posted on May 8, 2013. What’s up with that?

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/upgrade-your-life/facebook-scam-alert—what-really-happens-when-you–like–150959399.html

    • garymoyers says:

      As I mentioned to another reader earlier in the comments, the first 24 hours of this post’s life was a reposting of that exact article with full links and attribution. I had several acuse me of stealing, even though it was stated very obviously it was her article. The post had already become viral and I did not want to kill the article. I felt the info was to important. Consequently, I rewrote it presenting the same info, with a few additions, in my own words… although there is a quote from her in the middle of the new article.

  120. I figured it was something like that…I hope I haven’t scorched my computer…as a woman liking to many “pretty” scenery, cute animal, It’a a baby not a “choice” pictures…I’ve probably got malware on my machine…But I have to admit I’ve been trying to promote my sons business Precision Fence, here in Southern Oregon…but I can’t even seem to get to 30 “Likes” how sad is that…lol

  121. i am supposed to “like” this

  122. John Altson says:

    Hi, Gary

    May I please send you a copy of my latest novel, “The Id from Eden?” It’s right up your alley.

    What format of e-reader do you have?

  123. Let me just make sure I have this right. If I am interested in various subjects and get pleasure from reading about them and I search out the pages on FB that hold the most interest in those subjects for me and I *Like* those pages so they will show up in my news feed….this is NOT what you are talking about, right?

    I have over 700 Liked Pages that I liked DELIBERATELY over the 5 years I have been on FB. Each page, AS I LIKE IT, is put into an Interest List…be it Gardening, Faith, Politics, etc., that I created myself so that when I want to read only the pages in a specific list, I can do so. I have NO likes that I didn’t put there and want there, I checked. Same with PEOPLE. They are in specific lists. I had to do that, especially where family was concerned. It is the only way I can keep up daily with what is happening with every member in my family and not miss the “tree” due to the “forest”. LOL! (Yipes…do I sound OCD?)

    On the other hand, my hubby is not FB savvy and I have to constantly ride him about noticing the ads and wondering about them. I tell him all the time…”don’t look at the ads on the right hand side of your screen! Don’t click on them out of curiosity…just don’t SEE them, please!” He is so easily distracted by them….sigh!

    And, probably due to my suspicious nature, I never click Like on anything that is obviously trying to GET me to click Like. I don’t repost all those posts that say to do so…gag. I don’t care how they appeal to your heart strings..more gag.

    Anyway, I love my Liked pages and the only other things I like are personal comments or personal posts and pictures of my friends. All annoying games are blocked long ago and as new ones make it into my stream, they get blocked too. I see (and ignore) the annoying ads for items I have looked at on Amazon or eBay or Google…a constant reminder that my computer is watching me. But those ads pop up everywhere I go, not just on FB. For me, all of technology is a love/hate relationship.

    Sorry to be so *chatty*! Thanks for such an interesting article and I have enjoyed ALL the wisdom in the comments too.

    • garymoyers says:

      Yes Lisa, it sounds like you’re doing things right. You know what you like and you like what you know. And with Facebook, you have to be OCD. Otherwise you end up with all kinds of stuff you don’t really want to be involved with.

      You mentioned ads on the right of the screen in the sidebar. Those aren’t really what I’m talking about in the article. Everyone knows those are ads and it’s pretty easy to ignore or avoid them. I’m talking about the ads that you don’t realize are ads that show up in your news stream. But it sounds like you’ve got a good handle on that.

      Congrats and keep up the good work. Enjoy Facebook the way it was meant to be.

  124. Lois Pike says:

    I am trying to unlike pages and I am unable to do that from the likes screen, any suggestions?

    • garymoyers says:

      Are you hovering in the upper right hand corner of the profile pic for the page you want to unlike?

  125. OMG ! I always knew something was up with that darned like button and have kept my likes to a minimum – when I went to my page and then to the more, then the likes menu, I found I only had to unlike 4 or 5 things. I’m rather proud of that fact. Personally, I expected to see more of them, because when I was new to Facebook I didn’t know what that was all about and figured (looking back) that I would have liked more stuff – and I’m a pretty happy, upbeat, liking kinda gal ! I have all my friends on my list restricted so I only see their comments (and unfortunately their likes are linked to their comments), their life events and status updates, and nothing more. Now that I know more about the effect of the like button, I have to scoot over to my mom’s and show her how to do some serious pruning and unliking on her account. She was complaining about all the ads she’s been seeing and I think this will fix her right up and make her happy with her facebook account (if only for a short while) – she’s 89 years old and getting more computer savvy with every online experience ! Gotta love her ! Anyway, thank you so much for this article, it’s been a blessing ! Take care and I’ll keep an eye out for more from you in the future.

    • garymoyers says:

      Thanks. Glad to be of help, but it sounds like you’re on the track already. Good luck with your cyber-mom. :)

  126. wilma woods says:

    I found my “likes” under “activity log” then on the left is the “likes” and then after you click on “likes” it gives you 2 choices “Pages and Interests” and “posts and comments”.

  127. what about liking a friends post, or comment on their own individual wall ? and how do we know what is ok to like and not ?

    • garymoyers says:

      Liking a friends post is exactly what the system is intended for. Go ahead! One caveat… if your friend has reposted something from a link farmer, that gives the same result. Just use common sense. You can see who posted it and if it was a repost or not.

      • Suppose your friend posted his baby picture to “public” instead of “friends” by mistake. Could that now present a problem if you like it?

        • garymoyers says:

          No, that’s not a problem at all. That’s exactly the kind of thing the Like system is designed for. My concern is over the abuse of the system, when people misrepresent themselves in order to sell their Facebook page or place ads. Go ahead and Like away on your friend’s baby pictures. The only concern there is for the people who posted it, since the baby picture is now available to anyone to use for any reason, but that’s another blog post. Thanks for reading!

  128. Gary, excellent article, perhaps you can help me with this:

    Awhile back I attempted to delete my facebook account, but could find no way to do so. The best I could accomplish was to make it “inactive” and was given instructions that if I wanted to activate it again, all I needed to do was log-in, just like I did when it was active. Not sure if my page was able to be viewed by others during this time, but certainly all my info had been retained by facebook and the many advertisers associated with facebook which is why I wanted to delete it in the first place. Since my info was still available to those I didn’t want to have it, I simply re-activated my account. Do you know if there is a way to actually delete fully, one’s account? Thanks :)

  129. Curmudgeon says:

    My solution: I have never even looked at Faceplant. What do I want with a bunch of people so narcissistic as to post pictures of themselves in the Intarweb? I can meet idiots just by going to the supermarket.

  130. Audra Curtis says:

    Thank you for the info! Is it ironic that, after I cleaned up my “liked” pages, I “liked” yours? :)

  131. I seriously don’t see the problem that others profit from my actions on facebook. If I don’t like a page, I unlike it, simple as that.

  132. Clarke Olmstead says:

    With all the N.S.A. & C.I.A. snooping on phone calls and e-mails I want to shut down my FB account and totally erase all the content, likes, shares, status, the works. What is the easiest way to disappear and leave no trace ???

    Thanks

    Clarke

  133. It takes forever to unlike a page. I wish they could make it easier.

  134. Try this if you don’t wanna see the adverts. Works on Facebook and Youtube.

    http://adblockplus.org/en/firefox

  135. Nancy Pouder says:

    I am along the line of thinking as Clarke (above). This is the second thing in a couple days about facebook that has bit my cupcake the wrong way! First was a nastygram from them about me “friending” too many people, and then I stumbled upon a group in Change.org and also here on facebook who are even “madder than hell and not going to take it any more” about that than me. The gist of that is, they are trying to say we are sending friend requests out to people we don’t know, which isn’t true, and then blocking us for 30, 60, and upward days, from sending requests, messages, etc. Bottom line, my opinion is this is just the beginnings of something we will see in the future, like, say you can send maybe 5 friend requests a month FOR FREE, and then after that you will have to pay, turn that into something like, a free membership vs. a paid basic membership where you can friend oh maybe 25-50 people a month vs. a platinum membership where you can friend unlimited people…. Tell me someone has not been thinking about this! That whole going public with the stock thing went over like a fart in Church, so they gotta come up with some revenue making schemes someplace. So, yeah, I can live without facebook. For me, it is a toy, nothing more. And even if we do delete our accounts, unfortunately, whatever they have put in place to track us is still there, their cyber eyes, so that ship has sailed already, we ARE living in that brave new world. But thanks for the great article and all your work. I will be tracking down (no pun intended) your blog and following you there.

    • garymoyers says:

      Thanks for your thoughts. I think you may be right regarding Facebook. Since going public, they are even more concerned about income, which is only right since they are definitely a for-profit business.

  136. On the other side of this- I have.a page for my businesses, two smallish American restaurants, that is getting hundreds of likes from India. This makes me nervous. Why do you think this is happening, and what, if anything do I do? Thanks for any help!

    • garymoyers says:

      Well that’s interesting. There are a good number of graphics designers from India that web designers hire out as cheap labor to do their work for them. Have you ever hired anyone from India? Or have you been on any web sites looking at available contract labor from India? My guess is that your business has come up on some of those sites. But that’s just a guess.

      • Nope, never had any connection whatsoever to India. I have also seen very random posts that we have made (like something about a Mothers Day brunch or something) shared by some of the Indian people who have liked the page, and have caught a couple of them claiming to work for us. When i see this, i message them, and they immediately delete us from their work history. I am trying to keep track of a lot of this, and think something is going on, but I don’t know what else to do.

  137. Like

    • Francess Treadway says:

      So glad to see your posts again. I was worried that the FB Machine had somehow gotten to you. I trust and rely upon your information. It’s called “freedom of speech.” You’re the Man.

  138. KJs Sunset says:

    Just wanted to say thanks for writing an article on this. Im guilty of this, as I love to post a lot of wildlife pictures. Sometimes even funny pictures or jokes. Even a simple Have a nice weekend thing. But you pulled the wool off my eyes and opened them up. I cant stand when people click on those scam postings claiming if they do this and that, theyll get 5,000 facebook credits or theyll get a free ipad. The more familiar postings, Im already aware of and steer clear of them. Now I need to do myself a favor and steer clear of postings all together. This was definately the wake up call I needed. Thanks again.

    • garymoyers says:

      Thanks for reading, but please understand I’m not advocating running away from posting. The Facebook system is designed for sharing things just like you’ve mentioned… wildlife pictures, life events, etc. My only beef is with the abuse of the system, as you’ve illustrated with your mention of the “free iPad” and other such nonsense. Use Facebook, but use wisely. You are on the right path, padawan.

  139. First I just want to say that in order to post a reply I had to provide my email address, which makes me uneasy and uncomfortable because this page is not secure (https://). I am likely to receive more junk mail and spam in my inbox than ever.

    Second, I’m also concerned about hitting the like button in the left-hand column here or on the Facebook page that actually brought me to this article, so I won’t. You are sharing some valuable information and insights, yet using the same system to attract more readers and promoters.

    Confusing and possibly a bit contradictory.

    I think the real problem for me is spending too much time on Facebook in the first place. I have a small business (or actually two too small businesses! lol!) that I want to become more profitable for me. I only have a page on Facebook for one of them. It has drawn thousands of likes and fans and several purchases over the past two years. However, I end up spending a lot of time marketing (posting and answering questions about how I make my products) when I should be devoting my time and energy to creating the products themselves. Either I’m a people pleaser and want to “help” everyone or I loose focus once I’ve entered the Facebook world.

    Well, thanks for letting me exercise my vocabulary and English composition skills for a few minutes. I do appreciate the reminder that Facebook is a money-making machine that profits from every one of us. If I post this article on my page and no one Likes it, I hope you won’t be offended. It probably just means they actually read your article and took your advice! I’m going back to reducing my interaction with other pages, with full knowledge that I’m still providing Facebook with more of my personal information than I want to believe. And who really knows how it’s being used?

    Thanks again for your article.

    • Oops, that should be *lose focus.” I should have spent a few more minutes proof-reading before submitting. :)

    • Thanks for your comments. You mentioned the possible contradictory action of using the same system that I rail against in the article. I was trying to say that the Like system is a good system when used properly. My problem is with the people who try to trick the system, using fake posts and emotional pleas to get your attention and run up their numbers in order to sell their ID, etc. Go ahead and Like what you like. that’s why it’s there. Just be aware. Thanks for reading.

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