Derek Muller longs for the days when his Facebook page had only a few thousand likes.”
The other day I was just Googling, ‘How do I delete these likes?'” he said to Mashable in an interview. “There’s no tool to do that.”
Muller is the man behind Veritasium, a YouTube channel dedicated to producing informative videos on science. He has a strong following on the video site with more than 1.1 million subscribers (his second channel has more than 150,000).
He also has a reasonably popular Facebook page with 131,000 likes. Those likes have turned out to be a barrier between him and his fans, and he explains why in a video uploaded to his YouTube page entitled “Facebook Fraud.”
What Muller alleges is a quirk of the Facebook ecosystem that has emerged as a byproduct of how the newsfeed has evolved to display content. In short, phony Facebook likes have become all too common even among pages seeking legitimate followers. Facebook is complicit in allowing bogus accounts to run up like totals because they act as a buffer between pages and their actual fans.
As a result, Muller saw his engagement percentage plummet as his page built more likes. His posts were appearing on the News Feeds of phony accounts that had liked his page that never interacted with his page or any other. Since Facebook’s algorithm is built to reward posts that have strong engagement, the phony likes were making his posts look bad.