Loading. Please Wait...
Scroll down

Like – by Garrett Bradley

A glimpse into the "click-farms" of Bangladesh, where workers are paid to "like" Facebook pages

2016 | 5 - 10 | Documentary | Observational | Social Com. | USA

Social media are the most effective digital advertising channel for driving impressions, clicks, and conversions. An online economy has developed for paying for followers and likes — this new economy is a $200 million a year industry. In 2012, Facebook began shutting down accounts suspected of paying for likes. In 2013, users were encouraged to pay Facebook through its own branded ads, campaigns e boosts. Dhaka, a city of 7 million people, generates an estimated 30-40% of paid Facebook likes. This market in Bangladesh is not illegal. For $50 dollars, a customer can receive 1,000 likes or more.

With Like, director Garrett Bradley offers a glimpse into what it means to “like” things on Facebook for a living. The slow meandering movement of the camera tells that this ever-closer circle is working perfectly — if you have the source you have the resource and you will have the power; when you have the power, you will have the money; when you have the money, you will have the people. “So many people in other parts of the world spend a lot of time on the internet, particularly in Southeast Asia, where the population is very high,” the director told The Intercept, “but those likes are cheaper to buy because the value of a like is only as valuable as its ability to turn a transaction. And advertisers believe that if you’re not American, if you’re not Western, you’re not going to buy anything, and therefore you’re not valuable. And that’s a really big, important thing for us to be thinking about.” Also because this business has gone over as Facebook has enabled localised advertising by obtaining the personal data of users.

The New York-raised, New Orleans-based, self-taught and UCLA-trained Bradley previously directed two feature films that blended documentary and fiction — Below Dreams, which premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, and Cover Me, which premiered at the 2015 Rotterdam Film Festival. Premiered at 2016 Los Angeles Film Festival, Like is part of the Field of Vision project, a visual journalism film unit co-created by Laura Poitras, AJ Schnack and Charlotte Cook.

Alessandro Zoppo

Alessandro Zoppo

Editor-in-Chief @ Good Short Films

comments powered by Disqus

On Replay

scroll up