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A State Department Bureau Spent $630,000 Buying Facebook Likes

David Smothers July 3, 2013

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Officials from the Bureau of International Information Programs inexplicably spent a whopping $630,000 to secure Facebook likes in recent years.

Stumping up the cash between 2011 and March 2013, the Bureau—which is part of the US Department of State—grew its number of likes from 100,000 to more than 2 million. Understandably, that’s not gone down very well with employees—and likely won’t have many fans in the wider community, either.

It’s made worse by the fact that the Bureau admits that the process wasn’t even particularly successful: the large number of likes weren’t from the bureau’s target audience, and only 2 percent of fans actually bothered to engage with the Bureau on the ‘book.

The Washington Examiner points out that various State Department bureaus haver over 150 social media accounts between them, none of which are coordinated and many of which overlap. Perhaps the biggest question raised by the story, though, is: why the hell does a State Department even need to grow its Facebook user base by throwing cash at the thing? What’s the gain?

[via Washington Examiner]

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