Thursday, April 28, 2016

140,448 people "like" my new book on Facebook: Really?!

As I blogged about last week, Robin Craig and I have a new book of essays from 12 authors responding to the IPCC and considering the role of law in climate policy generally.  It's a great book of essays (selling for a very reasonable $35.95...thank you ELI Press!).  While I consider the book a blockbuster of legal insight, frankly, I didn't imagine the book would sell many copies.  But then I was checking my Facebook account earlier this week and an ad for the book appeared beside my "news feed" in Facebook.  I presume the ad was placed because I had looked to see if the book was available on Amazon (it is) and I am guessing that browser history caused Amazon to place this ad.  The part that caught my eye, though, was the text below the ad:  "140,448 people like this." I laughed, at first, and then for a fleeting second imagined that it might be true:  It just might be that 140,000 people have decided to "like" an academic book about climate policy.  Then reason weighed in:  No way.

But what to make of this?  Is that a purely invented number?  Did "bots" simply like the book?  If so, to what end?  Does anyone out there have experience with this?  I presume the number isn't real...I just wonder how it came to be and, perhaps equally intriguing to its presumed falsity, how whoever placed the ad can get away with a false advertisement of "likes."


Facebook likes - cropped

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