Local fashion blog StyleBluePrint is kicking up some dust around the Internet because of the results of its recent test of Facebook's new Promoted Posts feature. One of the posts generated more than 3,500 likes, many of them from faraway citizens who would seem to have little interest in Nashville style. That got local tech and marketing entrepreneur Jay Graves, the husband of StyleBluePrint co-founder Liza Graves, writing about the phenomenon. His thoughts didn't take long to be picked up by a number of other outlets, including Wired.com.
Wrongdoing seems far less likely. Shuman Ghosemajumder, a VP at Shape Security and a former Google click-fraud specialist, told me that fraudsters overwhelmingly want to get paid from engaging with an ad; depleting someone else’s ad through “competitive clickfraud” is almost never worth the effort. “Competitive clickfraud is nowhere near as common as click fraud that has a direct incentive to make money,” Ghosemajumder said. It should be even rarer on Facebook, he added, since Facebook has a detailed dossier to go along with every click, making it easier to identify fraud.