Yesterday I noticed on Facebook that two of my friends (let’s call them Bill and Ben) had “liked” the Wikileaks page. Looking at that page now I can see in the left panel that it has 93,738 (and rapidly rising) fans, including two of my friends. The trouble is they are not Bill and Ben – let’s call them Tim and Tom. This seems to imply that Facebook is undercounting the number of Wikileaks fans by at least two.
Now you might be thinking that Bill and Ben must have subsequently “unliked” the page, something that would not show up in their activity streams. Well done, I thought that too, but it is not the case. If I go to Bill’s info page and click on “Show other pages” under “Likes and interests” I can see Wikileaks listed, and if I hover over it a box pops up where it says “2 friends like this” with pictures of Tim and Tom. Same thing happens if I go to Ben’s info page (or indeed Tim or Tom’s).
I actually noticed this anomaly shortly after Bill and Ben “liked” the page and assumed that it might just take a little while for them to get tallied, but 16 hours have passed and they are still not being counted. I wonder if this sort of discrepancy is common on Facebook?