Facebook Bug Adds False ‘Likes’
Shares count as likes, even when shared in private, but only on plug-in counters, but some likes are liking stuff too much anyway… Facebook and its users in a muddle
Facebook has rushed to fix a bug that is adding ‘likes’ to content without users clicking on them, whilst attempting to clear up confusion around how ‘shares’ affect the number of likes on websites.
Yesterday, reports claimed ‘likes’ were being added to Facebook pages whenever users posted a link in private messages that related to those pages. But the social networking giant, which celebrated passing the one billion user mark yesterday, denied those claims.
Instead, it admitted a Facebook bug in the implementation of social plug-ins used by millions of sites was causing additional ‘Likes’.
“We did recently find a bug with our social plugins where at times the count for the Share or ‘like’ goes up by two, and we are working on fix to solve the issue now,” a Facebook spokesperson said.
“To be clear, this only affects social plugins off of Facebook and is not related to Facebook Page likes. This bug does not impact the user experience with messages or what appears on their timelines.”
Facebook bug or feature?
However, figures for ‘likes’ do go up when links are posted in private messages, but only on counters connected to the content. That counter is clearly the ‘like’ counter, however, and is separate from the ‘share’ button on many websites. This is what has led to confusion amongst Facebook members.
Wherever users share content, in whatever way, Facebook considers that a ‘like’ and adds it counters. On TechWeekEurope, if you click the ‘share’ button at the end of articles, it will add to the ‘like’ count.
“When the count is increased via shares over private messages, no user information is exchanged, and privacy settings of content are unaffected. Links shared through messages do not affect the Like count on Facebook Pages,” a spokesperson said
Facebook has been battling with numerous privacy issues over the past five years. Just last month, it was forced into removing its facial recognition feature across Europe.
It did get a boost earlier this month, however, when the French privacy watchdog, CNIL, said claims that old private messages were appearing on people’s public profiles were nonsense.
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