The Dark Side of Social Media Likes; Understanding Click Farms and How to Avoid such Influence

How often you do hit the like 👍 & ❤️ buttons on social media? Not every piece of content/information on the internet is worth giving unless they are family. So ever wondered how some post or content receives millions of likes and comments?

How these millions of likes can easily change someone’s perspective towards any brand or Content and how psychologically they influence you or mislead you into believing something which you never wanted to in the first place. so let’s understand.

Social media likes can have both positive and negative effects on users. On the positive side, likes can provide validation and a sense of social acceptance. When users receive likes on their posts, they may feel appreciated and validated, which can boost their self-esteem and overall well-being. Additionally, likes can serve as a way to measure the popularity and relevance of a post, which can help users understand what content resonates with their followers.

They can also create a harmful cycle of validation-seeking and self-comparison. When users constantly seek validation through likes, they may begin to prioritize the number of likes over the quality of their content, leading to a focus on creating attention-grabbing posts rather than meaningful content. Users may compare the number of likes they receive to those of their peers, leading to feelings of inadequacy and low self-worth. This can contribute to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues

The algorithm behind likes may favor certain types of content or users, leading to an uneven distribution of likes that reinforces existing biases and inequalities. This can contribute to the marginalization of certain groups and the amplification of harmful stereotypes.

It is essential to prioritize creating meaningful content over seeking validation through likes.

A click farm is a type of business that generates fake clicks on online advertisements or other content in order to artificially boost the number of clicks or views that an item receives. you can buy any type of engagement, from likes to followers, shares, and even comments. This is often done to drain an advertiser’s budget or to artificially inflate the number of clicks or views either to gain popularity or develop false narratives. it uses the number of clicks or views as a way to rank content or determine how much to charge for advertising. And generally considered unethical and may be illegal in some cases,

the New York Times reported on the use of click farms, where low-paid workers were hired to manually click on advertisements or websites in order to boost their popularity.

It is difficult to pinpoint who had such a devious idea in the first place but the concept of inflating the number of clicks or views on a website has likely been around since the earliest days of the internet. However, the use of click farms as a business model has likely emerged more recently as a way to exploit the increasing importance placed on metrics such as clicks and views by online platforms and advertisers.

It is worth noting that while click farms can be used for unethical or fraudulent purposes, the fake clicks or views is not necessarily new. For example, some companies may have employed tactics such as asking employees or friends to click on an advertisement or website in order to boost its popularity or using automated software to generate clicks, long before the term “click farm” was coined. Many companies and platforms have taken steps to detect and prevent click fraud, but it can still be a notable problem.

How this interferes with your perspective and becomes the truth for most of us?

As humans, we are wired to seek social acceptance and validation and social media platforms often use algorithms that prioritize content with a high number of likes and engagement thus making it tangible to measure. When we see that a post has received a high number of likes, we may assume that it is popular and relevant and further cementing the idea that these posts are important and valuable.and sometimes we fall for it like fake news where users can easily share posts and articles without verifying their accuracy.

Perhaps you’ve heard this saying If you tell a lie 1,000 times, it eventually becomes true.

Let’s understand the psychology behind it.

Confirmation bias: If someone already holds a certain belief or opinion, they are more likely to be influenced by a post that has a high number of likes if it supports their existing beliefs.

Bandwagon effect: When people see that a post has a lot of likes, they may be more likely to agree with the narrative set by the post, simply because they see that many others have also agreed with it. This is known as the “bandwagon effect.”

Authority bias: When someone sees that a post is liked by a large number of people, they may assume that the person or organization behind the post has more authority and credibility on the topic than they actually do. This can lead to a shift in their perspective on the topic.

However, it’s important to remember that the number of likes on a post is not always a reliable indicator of the accuracy or value of the information presented in the post. It’s always a good idea to fact-check and critically evaluate information, regardless of how many likes it has received.