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Massive "click farm" scam uncovered - Can online product ratings be trusted?

Massive "click farm" scam uncovered - Can online product ratings be trusted?
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Have you ever wondered how some people get hundreds, thousands or even millions of "likes" on social media sites? Or have you wondered why everyone suddenly seems to be liking a mobile app, product or restaurant?

If you suspect something fishy is going on, you're right. Although some celebrities and products generate millions of "likes" simply because they're well known and people like them, many others could be paying to be so popular.

If you haven't heard of click farms, it's where people are paid to post positive reviews for everything from movies to restaurants to nightclubs. They're also sometimes paid to "like" a page.

On social media sites like Facebook, you can click on a button to show your support for someone or something. The more popular they become, the more people like you visit their page. Then, the ad revenue starts rolling!

Click farms are paid to artificially boost those numbers. You won't believe how it's done.

People plug in dozens or even thousands of cellphones and create bots to automatically click on "like." Bots are also used to boost the popularity of social media sites.

In fact, a recent report from USC said as many as 48 million of Twitter's 300-plus million users are actually bots. Note: Bots are tiny computer programs that perform automated tasks.

Bonus: Keep reading for shocking photos

Many click farms are set up in faraway locations like Russia and China, perhaps to avoid detection from U.S. government officials. Yet, it seems everyone has heard about click farms.

Now, there seems to be proof that these click farms sometimes have 10,000 or more cellphones hooked up. Then, bots get to work liking pages on social media sites.

Experts say much of the current digital manipulation is carried out in China and Russia

Photo courtesy of Daily Mail

According to the Russian reporter, the click farm had around 10,000 phones working on likes

Photo courtesy of Daily Mail

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