Small Screens, Thick Fingers, Can't Lose?
BY Nick Judd | Friday, October 12 2012
Your clumsy fingers may be helping Mitt Romney online.
Team Romney makes much hay about their online "engagement" figures — that is, the number of likes and shares that they receive on Facebook. Given that person-to-person connections are the most effective way to communicate in politics, they're not wrong to place an emphasis here. But the former governor's election effort also invests in Facebook ads and sponsored stories to help get their message out.
Faced with a sudden rash of "likes" for Romney from people who say they don't really like Romney, Mother Jones asked Facebook for help figuring out what was going on. The social network's response:
They concluded that users are probably liking the Romney page on a mobile device by either accidentally clicking on a Romney ad or a "sponsored story" from the Romney campaign in their news feed. A Facebook spokesman, who wanted to remain anonymous, said the issue is unique to mobile because of the way the app works on small screens, and rejected the idea that the Romney camp was engaging in clickjacking. He added that the company is currently working to clean up its mobile interface. (The Obama camp is reportedly experiencing Facebook funny business too. On Tuesday, Buzzfeed noted the president's page saw an odd spike in likes.)
(h/t Nancy Scola)