Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Conservative Party Appear To Be Paying A Company To Boost Number Of 'Likes' On Facebook

As a person who spends allot of his time online talking about either Politics and/or Football I have wide scope to notice when things aren't quite right.

The last 3 weeks of UKIP success has gotten the Party allot of publicity and support. Most notably on Facebook with a thriving community of UKIPers who drop in from time to time to talk in the many Groups that have been set up in the honour of the party.

The other parties have some as well and I am sure much the same types of discussions goes in them as does so in the UKIP group.

All the political Parties, Conservatives, Labour, Lib Dems, UKIP and the Green's also have their own official Facebook page as well.
Fully endorsed and controlled by the parties with 
details, party mission statements, policies, activities and even on some stories of the week. A online mini-manifesto and live discussion wall for lack of a better way of putting it.

When you have an account on Facebook you can "like" such pages to both signal your support for the page/object of that page and get updates from that page on your timeline.

As can be seen from the following 'Screen Pictures' of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) Facebook page...

Main Page showing number of 'Facebook Likes' from viewers:

The Search Bar Showing the UKIP Group and the number of followers:

(U1) Voting Demographic and Group Age:

Social media profiles have become hot property in this technological age and a war of 'Likes' flared up in recent weeks between UKIP and the Conservative Party. (May-June 2014)

UKIP 'Likes' flew past the Liberal Democrats some months back during the 2014 Council Elections and then went past the Conservatives on 'Likes' during the 2014 European Elections.

At the time the Conservatives had a "Like Count" of 193,200, UKIP had passed that number (currently on 201,488).

It's worth mentioning that the Conservatives first registered their Facebook page on 25th February 2008, UKIP registered theirs on 3rd of May 2011 as can be seen in Pictures U1 and C1.

Over the space of 7 days (23rd of May on-wards) from last week to this week (2nd of June), the Conservatives page "like count" increased by 9.7% (18,600 likes). 

Looking at this massive rise in such a short period of time I remembered a program I had watched recently that featured a Company paying an Indian firm that had a large room full of computers with staff working day in day out logging in and out of fake Facebook accounts boosting the Profiles of Companies.

It's my suspicion that is possibly what the Conservatives done, to boost their social media profile which was lagging behind UKIP's.

Evidence of this disproportionate jump in likes can be found at directly if you have Facebook here:

(C1) I first recognised this problem at 17:05 on 04/06/2014 and took a screen-picture of it:

I thought that it would end here and that the changes would be gradual. However to my utter astonishment the changes were happening fast over a short period of time. I had apparently walked straight into the middle of it.

18:05 04/06/2014:

19:05 04/06/2014:

20:05 04/06/2014:

22:05 04/06/2014:

Anybody looking on Google can find a website advertising the service of boosting "likes" or "friends" however you would hardly expect to find a Major Political Party playing this dirty trick.

A video on the subject can also be found here:

The Huffington Post even did an article on the subject:

The Guardian Newspaper even did an article on how this very same trick had been used by David Cameron, leader of the Conservative Party and the Prime Minister of this country to boost his 'Like Count' on his personal Facebook page:

This is a wildly disproportionate number compared to it's previous time on Facebook.

I shall end this blog on the following note, as I believe I don't need to paint a picture here for you to understand what has been done in this instance.

The Conservative Parties average "like per day" over the last 6 years prior to this explosion in numbers was 87 likes per day. Ie: The number of followers divided by the number of days in a year multiplied by 6 years.

In the space of 5 hours from 17:05 to 22:05 on 04/06/2014 the Conservatives "acquired" 8,000 new followers on their Facebook page.

I believe this is deeply suspicious and deeply dishonest.