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10279 clicks; posted to Business » on 31 Jul 2012 at 9:40 AM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-31 01:11:11 AM  
Days until SEC probe? If you had 74, come forward and collect your prize.
 
2012-07-31 01:28:16 AM  
Watch that stock collapse, kids!
 
2012-07-31 01:55:26 AM  
Meh, the "no javascript, must be a bot" argument doesn't seem very valid to me, even if it was an unrealistic 80%. I think they just made that number up.

Basically they didn't like Facebook's "hey you can't change your name unless you pay us more money" thing, so they concocted this because Facebook has a habit of just caving when somebody makes a scene like this, even when it's bullshiat.
 
2012-07-31 06:54:12 AM  
I WISH 80% of internet users even knew what Javascript was, let alone be smart enough to disable it.
 
2012-07-31 09:43:11 AM  

serial_crusher: Meh, the "no javascript, must be a bot" argument doesn't seem very valid to me, even if it was an unrealistic 80%. I think they just made that number up.

Basically they didn't like Facebook's "hey you can't change your name unless you pay us more money" thing, so they concocted this because Facebook has a habit of just caving when somebody makes a scene like this, even when it's bullshiat.


No, that was just one step in their investigation. They didn't say how they actually showed them to be bots but that wasn't it.
 
2012-07-31 09:45:32 AM  

serial_crusher: Meh, the "no javascript, must be a bot" argument doesn't seem very valid to me, even if it was an unrealistic 80%. I think they just made that number up.

Basically they didn't like Facebook's "hey you can't change your name unless you pay us more money" thing, so they concocted this because Facebook has a habit of just caving when somebody makes a scene like this, even when it's bullshiat.


Reading comprehension fail.
 
2012-07-31 09:48:56 AM  
They're not alone in their dissatisfaction with Facebook advertising.
 
2012-07-31 10:01:36 AM  
It doesn't have to be Facebook. If I had command of a bunch of bots I'd make them click ads for giggles.
 
2012-07-31 10:02:47 AM  

Marcus Aurelius: I WISH 80% of internet users even knew what Javascript was, let alone be smart enough to disable it.


Bots have Javascript disabled. It sounds like that's what prompted the company to investigate where their clicks were coming from.
 
2012-07-31 10:05:19 AM  

Loren: serial_crusher: Meh, the "no javascript, must be a bot" argument doesn't seem very valid to me, even if it was an unrealistic 80%. I think they just made that number up.

Basically they didn't like Facebook's "hey you can't change your name unless you pay us more money" thing, so they concocted this because Facebook has a habit of just caving when somebody makes a scene like this, even when it's bullshiat.

No, that was just one step in their investigation. They didn't say how they actually showed them to be bots but that wasn't it.


Maybe they're all coming from the same IP addresses or something? I'm not sure how else you'd tell.

Could be user-agent strings too I guess, not that that would be conclusive at all.
 
2012-07-31 10:07:23 AM  
Just ask them "hey are you a bot?" and if they answer yes then there you go.
 
2012-07-31 10:14:32 AM  
Our small company experienced the same thing.

We had ads tailored to a very specific subset of people- US resident college grads with degrees in the premedical sciences over the age of 35. We were trying to target doctors with a broader approach then just advertising to self identified physicians on FB. I think the total potential number of people the ads could be displayed to was less than 50,000.

What we found after a short delay was charges of $25 every 3-4 days for a huge number of clicks. No sales were recorded from these clicks. After a few months we gave up.

There is absolutely something fishy going on here.
 
2012-07-31 10:16:15 AM  

Abner Doon: No, that was just one step in their investigation. They didn't say how they actually showed them to be bots but that wasn't it.

Maybe they're all coming from the same IP addresses or something? I'm not sure how else you'd tell.

Could be user-agent strings too I guess, not that that would be conclusive at all.


If the user-agent string was something like "Python" or "wget" or "curl", that'd be a dead giveaway. The string is easy for bots to fake and that would require deeper analysis to detect, but the article implies it was trivial to figure out.
 
2012-07-31 10:19:39 AM  

theurge14: Just ask them "hey are you a bot?" and if they answer yes then there you go.


It's like if the guy you're selling drugs to is a cop he totally has to tell you if you ask. I heard this hundreds of times in high school, so I'm pretty sure it's legit.
 
2012-07-31 10:22:53 AM  

theurge14: Just ask them "hey are you a bot?" and if they answer yes then there you go.


No, you have to ask it about turtles, then its mother. Be prepared to get shot though.
 
2012-07-31 10:25:15 AM  

Triumph: Days until SEC probe? If you had 74, come forward and collect your prize.


Link?
 
2012-07-31 10:27:16 AM  

whitman00: Our small company experienced the same thing.

We had ads tailored to a very specific subset of people- US resident college grads with degrees in the premedical sciences over the age of 35. We were trying to target doctors with a broader approach then just advertising to self identified physicians on FB. I think the total potential number of people the ads could be displayed to was less than 50,000.

What we found after a short delay was charges of $25 every 3-4 days for a huge number of clicks. No sales were recorded from these clicks. After a few months we gave up.

There is absolutely something fishy going on here.


Same here. I was promoting my business to college educated people in San Francisco. I saw a surge in clicks and "likes" but the "likes" were from all over the world. Turkey, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia... I don't know how my San Francisco ads reached all these people but it did cost me money that they did.
 
2012-07-31 10:29:45 AM  
The Beeb already found some anomalies in facebook advertising.

Link
 
2012-07-31 10:30:22 AM  

lemurs: If the user-agent string was something like "Python" or "wget" or "curl", that'd be a dead giveaway. The string is easy for bots to fake and that would require deeper analysis to detect, but the article implies it was trivial to figure out.


Depending on the type of bot, you could probably do it by keeping track of the images and other peripheral media downloaded. If you're getting a ton of hits to a page and seeing no traffic in images, jars, or anything else it would autoload in a browser, there's a pretty good chance it's a bot.
 
2012-07-31 10:37:33 AM  
i1.kym-cdn.com

>Two Thousand Twelve Years after the Coming of Christ
>still on facebook
 
2012-07-31 10:55:30 AM  
Yup, you can track how long someone sits on a page before leaving it. Not really that hard to look at the clicks and realize that the time the "user" spent looking at the page could be measured in milliseconds, its a pretty safe bet that its a bot.
 
2012-07-31 10:56:14 AM  
How long before Zuck loses another $7.2 billion?
 
2012-07-31 11:36:00 AM  

LazarusLong42: Triumph: Days until SEC probe? If you had 74, come forward and collect your prize.

Link?


Calm down - I'm just speculating. It may take more for an official investigation to be launched, but if the authorities don't at least probe into this, they're not doing their jobs.
 
2012-07-31 12:01:25 PM  

PsyLord: How long before Zuck loses another $7.2 billion?


how long before zuck finds himself at teh wrong end of an sec investigation. kids slimier than ellison and mcnealy combined.
 
2012-07-31 12:10:39 PM  

serial_crusher: Meh, the "no javascript, must be a bot" argument doesn't seem very valid to me, even if it was an unrealistic 80%. I think they just made that number up.

Basically they didn't like Facebook's "hey you can't change your name unless you pay us more money" thing, so they concocted this because Facebook has a habit of just caving when somebody makes a scene like this, even when it's bullshiat.


If you have javascript disabled, you don't even see the ads.
 
2012-07-31 12:27:51 PM  

EnderWiggnz: PsyLord: How long before Zuck loses another $7.2 billion?

how long before zuck finds himself at teh wrong end of an sec investigation. kids slimier than ellison and mcnealy combined.


This. I'm not usually one to invoke parental truisims but mah pappy told me many, many times, "look into the asshole's eyes. You'll see it all in there."

If he's not already, Zuck should be elevated to world class scumbag ... sooner rather than later.
 
2012-07-31 12:34:43 PM  

Triumph: LazarusLong42: Triumph: Days until SEC probe? If you had 74, come forward and collect your prize.

Link?

Calm down - I'm just speculating. It may take more for an official investigation to be launched, but if the authorities don't at least probe into this, they're not doing their jobs.


Ah. The "collect your prize" made it sound like it was already underway.
 
2012-07-31 12:50:37 PM  
Wait...

Isn't this how Google makes its billions and zillions?
 
2012-07-31 12:54:21 PM  
Pay per click just seems way too easy of a system by which to perpetrate a fraud.

I'm all for private companies, but it does seem that perhaps this is one place where a governmental regulatory body might actually earn their salaries - making sure that pay per clicks are legit.
 
2012-07-31 01:26:07 PM  
I've been saying for at least a year now, Facebook will be a relic within 5 4 years.
 
2012-07-31 01:26:55 PM  

Professor Horatio Hufnagel: Wait...

Isn't this how Google makes its billions and zillions?


Google ads are relatively effective.
 
2012-07-31 01:34:45 PM  

Nexzus: serial_crusher: Meh, the "no javascript, must be a bot" argument doesn't seem very valid to me, even if it was an unrealistic 80%. I think they just made that number up.

Basically they didn't like Facebook's "hey you can't change your name unless you pay us more money" thing, so they concocted this because Facebook has a habit of just caving when somebody makes a scene like this, even when it's bullshiat.

If you have javascript disabled, you don't even see the ads.


Extensions like noscript allow you to selectively disable JS on certain sites. Just like extensions like Adblock allow you to selectively block ads per site.
 
2012-07-31 01:42:20 PM  

Loren: serial_crusher: Meh, the "no javascript, must be a bot" argument doesn't seem very valid to me, even if it was an unrealistic 80%. I think they just made that number up.

Basically they didn't like Facebook's "hey you can't change your name unless you pay us more money" thing, so they concocted this because Facebook has a habit of just caving when somebody makes a scene like this, even when it's bullshiat.

No, that was just one step in their investigation. They didn't say how they actually showed them to be bots but that wasn't it.


Remember when your high school math teacher made you show your work? Yeah, real life works the same way.

Don't give me the first inconclusive step in your argument and then just leave me to trust that your home-built analytics solution works better than anything else and "proved" fraud.
 
2012-07-31 01:49:42 PM  

gmacbeth: whitman00: Our small company experienced the same thing.

We had ads tailored to a very specific subset of people- US resident college grads with degrees in the premedical sciences over the age of 35. We were trying to target doctors with a broader approach then just advertising to self identified physicians on FB. I think the total potential number of people the ads could be displayed to was less than 50,000.

What we found after a short delay was charges of $25 every 3-4 days for a huge number of clicks. No sales were recorded from these clicks. After a few months we gave up.

There is absolutely something fishy going on here.

Same here. I was promoting my business to college educated people in San Francisco. I saw a surge in clicks and "likes" but the "likes" were from all over the world. Turkey, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia... I don't know how my San Francisco ads reached all these people but it did cost me money that they did.


I thought Facebook's model was that it initially showed your stuff to the demographic you originally targeted, but then once they liked it, it started showing it to their friends too, right? Small number of doctors in your target area liked your stuff, then their friends back home liked it too? Just a thought.
 
2012-07-31 02:04:57 PM  
google adwords makes revenue from fake clicks as well. It will all come out later when google and facebook have made off with billions. Crime of century.
 
2012-07-31 02:23:19 PM  

serial_crusher: Nexzus: serial_crusher: Meh, the "no javascript, must be a bot" argument doesn't seem very valid to me, even if it was an unrealistic 80%. I think they just made that number up.

Basically they didn't like Facebook's "hey you can't change your name unless you pay us more money" thing, so they concocted this because Facebook has a habit of just caving when somebody makes a scene like this, even when it's bullshiat.

If you have javascript disabled, you don't even see the ads.

Extensions like noscript allow you to selectively disable JS on certain sites. Just like extensions like Adblock allow you to selectively block ads per site.


The point being that 80% of the clicks this group was getting were from users who could not see the adds. Tell me how does one click on something that is not there?
 
2012-07-31 02:51:40 PM  

whitman00: Our small company experienced the same thing.

We had ads tailored to a very specific subset of people- US resident college grads with degrees in the premedical sciences over the age of 35. We were trying to target doctors with a broader approach then just advertising to self identified physicians on FB. I think the total potential number of people the ads could be displayed to was less than 50,000.

What we found after a short delay was charges of $25 every 3-4 days for a huge number of clicks. No sales were recorded from these clicks. After a few months we gave up.

There is absolutely something fishy going on here.


Question, what were you selling? Don't most hospitals having a purchasing department who are not doctors?

I'm honestly asking, I have no idea
 
2012-07-31 02:54:11 PM  
How many parties would even profit from having a bot click an ad? All that comes to mind is FB itself and any competitor you had who felt like wasting your advertising budget.

/Alright, maybe trolls
//Actually, that would be something I could see being done
///Just to massively discourage the use of FB's advertising
 
2012-07-31 02:54:24 PM  

Zenzilla: serial_crusher: Nexzus: serial_crusher: Meh, the "no javascript, must be a bot" argument doesn't seem very valid to me, even if it was an unrealistic 80%. I think they just made that number up.

Basically they didn't like Facebook's "hey you can't change your name unless you pay us more money" thing, so they concocted this because Facebook has a habit of just caving when somebody makes a scene like this, even when it's bullshiat.

If you have javascript disabled, you don't even see the ads.

Extensions like noscript allow you to selectively disable JS on certain sites. Just like extensions like Adblock allow you to selectively block ads per site.

The point being that 80% of the clicks this group was getting were from users who could not see the adds. Tell me how does one click on something that is not there?


No, the point being that nothing on Facebook works without Javasript enabled, so Facebook users would selectively enable Javascript for just Facebook.
So when they're on Facebook they can see the ads, then when they click through to the other site, they have JS blocked by default.
 
2012-07-31 02:58:30 PM  

serial_crusher: Zenzilla: serial_crusher: Nexzus: serial_crusher: Meh, the "no javascript, must be a bot" argument doesn't seem very valid to me, even if it was an unrealistic 80%. I think they just made that number up.

Basically they didn't like Facebook's "hey you can't change your name unless you pay us more money" thing, so they concocted this because Facebook has a habit of just caving when somebody makes a scene like this, even when it's bullshiat.

If you have javascript disabled, you don't even see the ads.

Extensions like noscript allow you to selectively disable JS on certain sites. Just like extensions like Adblock allow you to selectively block ads per site.

The point being that 80% of the clicks this group was getting were from users who could not see the adds. Tell me how does one click on something that is not there?

No, the point being that nothing on Facebook works without Javasript enabled, so Facebook users would selectively enable Javascript for just Facebook.
So when they're on Facebook they can see the ads, then when they click through to the other site, they have JS blocked by default.


You think that 80% of the people who click ads on websites use a script blocker? People use script blockers and don't use ad blockers? Or do they whitelist FB in adblock because they just like those ads? It doesn't quite add up that way.
 
2012-07-31 03:04:33 PM  

ProfessorOhki: You think that 80% of the people who click ads on websites use a script blocker? People use script blockers and don't use ad blockers? Or do they whitelist FB in adblock because they just like those ads? It doesn't quite add up that way.


I actually whitelist Facebook because they give me relevant ads.

It's also a mistake to expect the traffic to match overall Internet traffic patterns. Facebook targets the shiat out of their ads, so it's not necessary to say that 80% of "people who click ads" use a script blocker. Could the that 80% of people in the demographic that their ad targeted use ad blockers.
 
2012-07-31 03:20:28 PM  

serial_crusher: It's also a mistake to expect the traffic to match overall Internet traffic patterns. Facebook targets the shiat out of their ads, so it's not necessary to say that 80% of "people who click ads" use a script blocker. Could the that 80% of people in the demographic that their ad targeted use ad blockers.


TFA says that "What's important here is that in all of our years of experience, only about 1-2 percent of people coming to us have JavaScript disabled, not 80% like these clicks coming from Facebook." It's clear that, even in these guys' target demographic, that level of disabled Javascript is an anomaly and that's what prompted further investigation.
 
2012-07-31 03:23:00 PM  

thistime: google adwords makes revenue from fake clicks as well. It will all come out later when google and facebook have made off with billions. Crime of century.


Adwords actually work quite well conversion wise. Do your research, take up any offers from Google to have a chat with someone to help you setup your campaign(s) and fire away.

FB ads, not so much.
 
2012-07-31 04:06:24 PM  

lemurs: serial_crusher: It's also a mistake to expect the traffic to match overall Internet traffic patterns. Facebook targets the shiat out of their ads, so it's not necessary to say that 80% of "people who click ads" use a script blocker. Could the that 80% of people in the demographic that their ad targeted use ad blockers.

TFA says that "What's important here is that in all of our years of experience, only about 1-2 percent of people coming to us have JavaScript disabled, not 80% like these clicks coming from Facebook." It's clear that, even in these guys' target demographic, that level of disabled Javascript is an anomaly and that's what prompted further investigation.


It seems they're pointing out an anomaly they found without going in depth on how they found it on a post to their followers. They also state that it's a moot point as they can't prove who the bots belong to even if they prove that they are bots. In the end they pulled their advertising due to the name change in exchange for advertising dollars issue.
 
2012-07-31 05:43:49 PM  

serial_crusher: ProfessorOhki: You think that 80% of the people who click ads on websites use a script blocker? People use script blockers and don't use ad blockers? Or do they whitelist FB in adblock because they just like those ads? It doesn't quite add up that way.

I actually whitelist Facebook because they give me relevant ads.

It's also a mistake to expect the traffic to match overall Internet traffic patterns. Facebook targets the shiat out of their ads, so it's not necessary to say that 80% of "people who click ads" use a script blocker. Could the that 80% of people in the demographic that their ad targeted use ad blockers.


If you're targeting web ads at a demographic that has significantly above average ad-blocker use, you're probably doing it wrong.

Also, if you're whitelisting ads on anything (with the possible exception of things your friends are webmasters of), you're doing it wrong.
 
2012-07-31 05:49:00 PM  
FB down over 6% again today. The Yahoo Finance message boards are, shall we say, a touch bearish.
 
2012-07-31 06:00:21 PM  

Triumph: FB down over 6% again today. The Yahoo Finance message boards are, shall we say, a touch bearish.


Tomorrow will be the rebound of rebounds 31-Jul-12 04:49 pm
Facebook should easily close at around 25-ish tomorrow and then slowly creep to the 30s in the upcoming weeks as it will hit above its expected target for the year. Load up people!


Hahah, economics trolls are the best trolls.
 
2012-07-31 06:05:34 PM  

ProfessorOhki: serial_crusher: ProfessorOhki: You think that 80% of the people who click ads on websites use a script blocker? People use script blockers and don't use ad blockers? Or do they whitelist FB in adblock because they just like those ads? It doesn't quite add up that way.

I actually whitelist Facebook because they give me relevant ads.

It's also a mistake to expect the traffic to match overall Internet traffic patterns. Facebook targets the shiat out of their ads, so it's not necessary to say that 80% of "people who click ads" use a script blocker. Could the that 80% of people in the demographic that their ad targeted use ad blockers.

If you're targeting web ads at a demographic that has significantly above average ad-blocker use, you're probably doing it wrong.


"doing it wrong" is precisely what I'm accusing them of doing. They found an anomaly, which could have been caused by bots or an error on their part, then performed magic and concluded that it was caused by bots. Show me definitive proof that it was bots and not any of the other potential cases I've pointed out, and I'll grab my pitchfork and join right in with your lynch mob.

lemurs: TFA says that "What's important here is that in all of our years of experience, only about 1-2 percent of people coming to us have JavaScript disabled, not 80% like these clicks coming from Facebook." It's clear that, even in these guys' target demographic, that level of disabled Javascript is an anomaly and that's what prompted further investigation.


That's *if* their target demographic were the only ones hitting the site (as opposed to people who were looking for something else) *and if* the facebook ads actually went to that same target demographic, not an ad-blocking subset of it.
Anomaly, yes. Further investigation, yes. Proof of bots, no.
 
2012-07-31 06:07:54 PM  

ProfessorOhki: Triumph: FB down over 6% again today. The Yahoo Finance message boards are, shall we say, a touch bearish.

Tomorrow will be the rebound of rebounds 31-Jul-12 04:49 pm
Facebook should easily close at around 25-ish tomorrow and then slowly creep to the 30s in the upcoming weeks as it will hit above its expected target for the year. Load up people!

Hahah, economics trolls are the best trolls.


I'm very happy to see i'm not the only one who enjoys the LOLZ of a good yahoo finance board.
 
2012-07-31 06:28:24 PM  

serial_crusher: Meh, the "no javascript, must be a bot" argument doesn't seem very valid to me, even if it was an unrealistic 80%. I think they just made that number up.

Basically they didn't like Facebook's "hey you can't change your name unless you pay us more money" thing, so they concocted this because Facebook has a habit of just caving when somebody makes a scene like this, even when it's bullshiat.


I paid a chunk of change on there a few years ago. Not one call or email.
Lots of hits though, but no one was going anywhere within the site.

I ditched them quickly, and ended up getting way more work by using Craigslist.
 
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