The Church of Scientology is allegedly buying Facebook "Likes" from click farms

CommunicatorIC

@IndieScieNews on Twitter
The Church of Scientology is allegedly buying Facebook "Likes" from click farms.

This is an exceptionally good article. Read it all. I excerpt only one issue below.

Kernel: How The Church Of Scientology Fought The Internet — And Why It Lost

http://kernelmag.dailydot.com/issue.../scientology-versus-the-internet-going-clear/

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The Church of Scientology would like you to know that, as of this writing, its official Facebook page has 329,903 likes.

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In early May, less than two months after the HBO premiere of Going Clear, former Scientologist and current critic Mike Rinder noted the page’s remarkable increase in fans. As the graph below shows, between September 2014 and May 2015, Scientology’s primary Facebook page went from well under 100,000 fans to nearly 300,000. In April alone, the page added more than 50,000 fans. As many Internet marketers would tell you, that’s an impressive showing.

septmay-1080x584.png


Where were all these new fans coming from? A graph calculated by social analytics firm Quintly showed that nearly 60 percent of the page’s fans were from Indonesia; of the 50,000 fans added in April, 43,000 were from that country.

fanscountry.jpg


Scientology had suddenly become very popular in Indonesia—much more so than nearly anywhere else. Mexico, in second place, had only a third as many fans. The United States, coming in third, provided less than 10 percent of Scientology’s fans.

Via email, Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw explained the increase.“There is no surprise in the increase of ‘Likes’ coming from Indonesia,” she wrote, “after all, our humanitarian aid in the region can be counted in the thousands. 600 Scientology Volunteer Ministers from 28 nations responded to the 2004 tsunami in the Indonesian region bringing help to 300,000 people.” She did not explain why the church’s laudable humanitarian work resulted in a sudden spike in Facebook fans nearly 11 years later.

She said the church ran no ads targeting Indonesia, and that, more generally, “the page’s engagement and likes are driven through a combination of both organic posting and augmented with Facebook advertising at international level.” She did not answer how many Scientologists live in Indonesia; according to
Code:
Scientology.org
, there is no church in the country, the closest being in Taiwan and Australia. (Though maybe the 150,000 fans will ask for one.)

What’s going on here? Julian Gottke, digital public-relations manager at Quintly, said in an email, “Based on the growth rates in our fans by country table, you could assume that Scientology supports their social media strategy with farming fans in countries such as Indonesia (130k more fans than in the US), India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.” He’s referring to “click farms”—for-hire companies that use cheap labor and fake profiles to make social media pages look more popular than they are. Googling “buy Facebook likes” reveals how easy it can be.

Pouw denied buying likes. “To reiterate as explicitly and clearly as I can,” she wrote, “no 3rd party ‘social media farms’ are utilized and no one has ever been paid for ‘likes.’ Again, all of the Facebook fans of the Church of Scientology clicked by their own choosing. Further, like many major non-secular and secular organizations and brands on Facebook, we utilize both organic and Facebook provided advertising product methodologies to drive engagement. We do not discriminate against anyone in the world LIKE-ing and engaging with our Facebook page.” She also wrote that the church’s social media team “strictly follows all digital marketing best practices,” though none of its members would be available for comment.

“Given the Church’s expansion in the last 10 years, in which we grew faster than in the previous 50 years, much of our growth has been global,” she continued. This claim is difficult to confirm without hard, verifiable membership numbers from the church; Mike Rinder notes that the church’s membership claims have varied over the years. Tony Ortega broke down the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey conducted by Trinity College, which suggested there were 25,000 self-identifying Scientologists in America. Based on interviews with former members, he estimated that number was actually declining.

But Pouw encouraged comparing the Scientology Facebook page to those of other religious organizations, including specifically the Mormon Church, the Hillsong Church, and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, writing that “you will find that a majority of their social media engagement also is from foreign countries, including Indonesia.” None of those pages are nearly as heavy with Indonesian fans.

Sachin Kamdar, CEO of web analytics firm Parsely, examined the Scientology page, and the linear increase made him suspect. “People tend to engage with Facebook pages and content organically, which results in more spikes and dips,” he wrote. “A consistently steady increase indicates that paid promotion is a more likely explanation for the rise in fans. This is also backed up by the location of the fans—which others have found to indicate an increase in paid promotion.”

He doesn’t mean that Scientology’s necessarily paying people to like its page, but rather that it’s paid for a lot of sponsored posts. (Remember that “Alex Gibney: Propagandist” sponsored post?) And those sponsored posts are ending up in more newsfeeds—including those of fake profiles designed to simply “like” almost everything. In other words, Scientology’s page might be receiving collateral likes from the click farms without directly paying them.

“There’s nothing wrong with paid promotion, though I wonder if they’re getting any increase in actual engagement thanks to the campaigns,” Kamdar wrote. Reviewing a month of posts suggested not: While many had hundreds of likes and tens of shares, none had more than 10 comments. Most had none.

Facebook, for its part, doesn’t comment on the advertising practices of individual pages, though in the past year it’s cracked down on bogus likes. That’s in part due to complaints from businesses that’ve run ad campaigns only to find themselves overwhelmed with click-farmed likes, which actually decrease the value of their pages and advertising.

The church says it doesn’t pay for clicks, and the flood of Indonesian fans could be a fluke. Or maybe there really are 150,000 Scientology fans in Indonesia.

After its meteoric rise, the Scientology Facebook page seems to have settled down. There are regular posts, hundreds of single-click likes, and few comments. This week, it added over 1,000 new page likes. Though Indonesian users still account for almost half the total, the flood of new fans seems to have ebbed. Maybe the church has bigger things to worry about.

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Boson Wog Stark

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So 11 years ago, a dozen Scientology Vulture Ministers passed out water, relying on other aid organizations to feed them, house them, and even provide the water they handed out, and suddenly Indonesians "like" the Scientology page in the thousands. Was it the yellow shirts? Are these Indonesians using L. Ron Hubbard's technology after the experience?

Does Karin Pouw honestly think Miscavige or one of his underlings would tell her about a click farm if one was used? She's like a broken record talking about expansion and their international influence, even when it has nothing to do with the question.:duh:
 

TheOriginalBigBlue

Gold Meritorious Patron
Scientology has finally developed a functional understanding of the internet.

But seriously, I am increasingly impressed with the comprehensive coverage being given to the subject by non-Scientology related sources. These people know where to go for real inside information and it isn't the church. Further, they aren't just regurgitating the information - they fully duplicate it and can deliver it as their own in a new unit of time.
 

oneonewasaracecar

Gold Meritorious Patron
Scientology has finally developed a functional understanding of the internet.

But seriously, I am increasingly impressed with the comprehensive coverage being given to the subject by non-Scientology related sources. These people know where to go for real inside information and it isn't the church. Further, they aren't just regurgitating the information - they fully duplicate it and can deliver it as their own in a new unit of time.

So they understand the internet without ever having been on it.

Sounds like Mary in the colour thought experiment.

If Scientologists ever go on the internet, we may get an answer to that question.
 

lotus

stubborn rebel sheep!
4,800 likes in nepal

:roflmao::roflmao:

More than all europeean countries

:duh:



(It smells chinese sauce..)
 

CommunicatorIC

@IndieScieNews on Twitter
4,800 likes in nepal

:roflmao::roflmao:

More than all europeean countries

:duh:



(It smells chinese sauce..)
Of all of the Facebook Likes, the Facebook Likes from Nepal may be the most realistic. As I recall from the Sec Check thread, the Church of Scientology has done a lot of Volunteer Minister, Youth for Human Rights, etc. activities in Nepal. I could readily see Scientology VMs, etc., getting people to Like the COS Facebook page.
 

anonomog

Gold Meritorious Patron
Of all of the Facebook Likes, the Facebook Likes from Nepal may be the most realistic. As I recall from the Sec Check thread, the Church of Scientology has done a lot of Volunteer Minister, Youth for Human Rights, etc. activities in Nepal. I could readily see Scientology VMs, etc., getting people to Like the COS Facebook page.

I think it is still too high. What could have happened is scientology telling people to like their page so they can be kept up to date with relief efforts in their area, or updated missing persons' lists. But people spontaneously clicking a facebook like when their thoughts are on basic life needs, seems very implausible to me.
Did the facebook pages of Doctor's without Borders, Red Cross etc also get a proportionate bump in Nepalese likes?
 

Lord Xenu

Patron Meritorious
Does Karin Pouw honestly think Miscavige or one of his underlings would tell her about a click farm if one was used? She's like a broken record talking about expansion and their international influence, even when it has nothing to do with the question.:duh:


I have thought (maybe incorrectly) that the executive strand of scifaggery is well aware of the use of the internet for marketing and information it's just the staff and students that aren't allowed to use it.

I have been corrected on this before in these forums as people have said that many of the 'big beings' are true believers in the tech. My experience of it is different. Look at the few people who do take big money out of the church, do they really believe?
 

ThetanExterior

Gold Meritorious Patron
Only 1,098 "fans" in the UK despite Saint Hill Manor being Ron's home and Scientology being in existence for over 60 years.

Boy it's taking forever to clear this country.:melodramatic:
 

CommunicatorIC

@IndieScieNews on Twitter
Scientology using click farms in Argentina to prop up website stats.

Scientology using click farms in Argentina to prop up website stats.

The following does not concern Facebook, but instead Scientology's website.

Please read Mike's entire post because it has a lot more information.

Mike Rinder: Scientology ad fail.

http://www.mikerindersblog.org/scientology-ad-fail/

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Here are some more interesting details from Alexa:


Alexa2scn.png


It used to be India and the Philippines. I guess they changed the click farms they have been paying or they got new proxy servers that route traffic through Argentina? There is absolutely NOTHING happening in Argentina scientology wise good OR bad. So there is no reason on earth for there to be more traffic from there than say Australia where there are two ideal orgs and an Advanced Org, or Italy where there are 3 including the largest org in the history of the galaxy. Obviously, a significant percentage of their traffic is a desperate attempt to buy rankings.

Their bounce rate (number of people that leave the site after viewing only the home page) is worsening, so too the pageviews and time on site.


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HelluvaHoax!

Platinum Meritorious Sponsor with bells on
...
fanscountry.jpg






Wow! Indonesia is so Ideal! 155,000 people "like" Scientology in Indonesia.

The average salary in Indonesia for a trained professional (e.g. fireman, policeman...) is 5,000,000 IDR (Indonesian Rupia) per month. That is the equivalent of $372.00 per month.

If they were somehow able to save 10% of their paycheck and "donate" it to Scientology, they could put $37 dollars per month on their COS account. Based on all the current price lists to do the "Bridge To Total Freedom", it would take 112 years to pay the required $500,000.

I wonder if any of the Indonesians working in the "CLICK FARM" have done a clay demo on the concept of paying for an invisible bridge to an invisible place ("total freedom") in only 112 years? LOL
 
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