Why do I get so many flagged bot clicks from Facebook?
The short answer is that Facebook is very aggressive with their bots, and they do not follow generally accepted industry “best practices.”
For example, any time you post a link on Facebook you can expect between 10 to 20 bot clicks.
Similarly, each and every time someone shares a link you’ve posted, you can expect another 10 to 20 bot clicks.
Taking this a step further, if you make a post containing a link that ends up being popular and shared by 100 different people, you can expect to see 10 to 20 clicks x 100 or 1,000 to 2,000 bot clicks from Facebook.
Going even further, if you set up a massive Facebook ad campaign with say 1,000 different ad variations and launch them all at once – you guessed it – you’ll see 10 to 20 clicks x 1,000 or between 10,000 and 20,000 bot clicks from Facebook in a very short period of time. Often within a matter of seconds.
This type of super aggressive bot activity goes against all generally accepted industry “best practices,” and in some cases has literally been shown to crash entire websites hosted on “consumer grade” servers.
Facebook won’t tell anyone why they do this, but the general assumption is that they are sending numerous bot requests for each and every link in order to fetch your page from multiple different locations and via multiple emulated device types and browsers, in order to get a full picture of any content that is dynamically served based on location or device, etc. On the surface there’s nothing wrong with that.
The real problem is that Facebook’s bots are pretty dumb. If you post the same link on Facebook 20 times, spaced 5 minutes apart, you will see 10 to 20 bot requests for the same link each time. You’d think they wouldn’t need to fetch the same page 200 to 400 times in such a short period of time, but they do.
Another problem is that about half the time Facebook doesn’t properly identify their bots via a valid User Agent string or other means, which causes even more problems for everyone. Again, this goes against just about every generally accepted industry best practice there is.
By not properly identifying their bots, sometimes a service like ClickMagick simply can’t tell the difference between Facebook’s poorly behaving bots and other types of malicious bots e.g. ones that generate fake clicks, so Facebook’s bots may get “throttled” or caught up in various anti-abuse systems, blacklists, etc.
These are actually known problems that the tech community has been complaining about for years.
If you’re interested you can read more at the link below, which links to other related bug reports too. If you do a bit of searching you’ll find 1,000s of people complaining about Facebook’s dumb aggressive bots.
Facebook has made it clear that they have no intention of fixing any of these problems, because, well, they’re Facebook and they can pretty much do whatever they want.
Anyway, if you do anything on Facebook you’ll just have to get used to seeing a lot of flagged clicks from their bots. It’s actually pretty normal with Facebook, and it’s nothing to worry about.
We’ve done everything we can to accommodate Facebook’s bots on our end, but in rare cases you may run in to various issues and problems caused by their bots. If you find yourself in that unfortunate position just get in touch and we’ll work with you on any potential solutions.
Article 431 Last updated: 05/11/2020 3:31:02 PM