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Blog/Why are so many of my Facebook likes from Bangladesh?

12th September 2022

A friend of mine recently noticed that almost half of the likes for his Facebook business page came from Bangladesh.

Now, if his business was a multinational, or one that did a lot of business with that part of the world, or even one that might resonate culturally with the 164 million Bangladeshi people then it might be easier to explain. But my friend’s business is none of those: it’s a one-man dog walking business in Gateshead!

For those of you who might not be too au-fait with the business world, it might surprise you to find hear that, traditionally, one-man dog walking businesses in Gateshead do not receive a great deal of attention from abroad.

So what would explain the fact that almost half of the ‘likes’ he gets are coming from one country, 5000 miles away from the outer limits of where he trades?

Well, the economy of Bangladesh is such that there are not a great deal of well paid jobs for unskilled workers. And with that being the case, when an opportunity to make money from home comes along, with no requirements other than a computer and an internet connection, people are ready to take it.

Conversely, there is big money to be made having a popular social media account, and to have a popular social media account, you need clicks. The more clicks you get, the more money you can make.

So on one hand you have a demand for clicks (where they come from is not really *that* important), and on the other you have an entrepreneurial country on the lookout to make money with the little resources they have.

Put the two together and what do you get? You get Click farms – a multimillion dollar industry in the Bangladeshi Capital Dhaka alone, from where an estimated 40% of the world’s paid likes come.

People wanting to boost their social media profiles quickly can pay someone (or someones) in a Bangladeshi click farm to log into their accounts and like, and share and retweet comment on their content, and with it, said content gets a higher profile and can in turn generate more revenue.

But why would ‘Woof this way’ in Gateshead be the recipient of these clicks you might ask? My friend isn’t interested in paying anyone to click on his page.

Well, if you’re working in a click farm, you need to keep your social media account(s) looking as normal and not-at-all-like-a-click-farm-account as possible. And so what do you do? You like lots of things, in lots of industries, and in lots of locations, some paid for and some not, so you simply look click-happy, and not click-farmy. And so ‘Woof this way’ gets some of the flak.

Shouldn’t social media platforms do more to clamp down on this? Well yes, they should, because it’s disingenuous. However, they too are making money off the back of it, and so, while they make all the right noises about clamping down on it, in reality, they don’t.

Maddison Creative – Web design and digital creative in Newcastle upon Tyne, North East England.

Maddison Creative 2020