this is how a click farm works.

If you have sometimes wondered how that application, with just one day of life, has thousands of ratings with five stars, today we have the answer and it is called ‘click farm’ or ‘click farm’. As its name indicates, its objective is precisely to do an automated job to give clicks either to rate applications, give views on YouTube, give likes on Facebook or Instagram, stream songs on Spotify, and many more activities.

This is not new, in fact the first signs emerged in 2015 when some Chinese media began to show images of these alleged farms, as well as advertisements offering services of “ratings manipulation in the App Store”.

this is how a click farm works

Three years after this discovery, we are facing an activity that today is available not only in China, but has spread to countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Brazil, the latter being the only country outside of Asia that offers these services .

2,500 likes on Instagram for $ 15

A year ago, a Twitter account published a famous video where a man of Russian nationality allegedly visited one of these farms in China. In this video you can hear, in Russian, how they explain that they are able to provide comments and ratings through thousands of mobile phones connected to a computer.

this is how a click farm works

According to the same tweet, this farm has 10,000 smartphones, most of them low or mid-range, and in many cases they are second-hand devices. All these mobiles would be connected in a network to a computer where the administration software is located that tells each device the work to be done, which can be from comments, scores, likes, views and music streams in various internet services and music stores Applications.

Hiring these services is relatively simple and the prices depend on the volume and amount of handling that is desired. For example, you can “hire” 2,500 for a photo on Instagram for just $ 15, where they even guarantee that they are of “high quality” and that we will have them available in a maximum of five minutes.

this is how a click farm works

Apparently this did not always work like that, since going back to 2015, these services were made known through messaging services, such as WeChat in China, and part of the work was done manually. Here a person was in charge of downloading, installing and then uninstalling applications over and over again to increase their ranking in the App Store, in the case of Apple. This was done like this because supposedly iOS does not allow to run an emulator on PC that automates the work.

Today, some of these services can be found on the internet, but most of them are advertised through messaging groups and recommendations through social networks.

this is how a click farm works

There are no laws yet that make this illegal

Thanks to a Bangkok police operation last year, where three Chinese who operated a click farm were arrested, we learned that such a farm earns between $ 2,950 and $ 4,400 a month, and be careful, since it is a relatively small installation.

To give us an idea, 476 smartphones and 347,200 SIM cards were confiscated on this farm, which belonged to three of the most important operators in the country. The curious thing about this is that this arrest was carried out because the three suspects did not have permission to work in the country, in addition to being accused of importing mobile phones and not paying taxes.

Namely, the activities they carried out in the click farm do not appear in the accusations, and is that today there are no laws that determine that this activity is illegal. The only things that have taken measures to this are the same companies, either by shielding their application stores, such as Apple and Google, or implementing measures to detect unusual activities in followers and likes, as recently happened in Twitter and Instagram.

this is how a click farm works