Facebook Click Fraud?

A month ago, I posted “Why You Can’t Make Any Money with AdWords” which discussed pay-per-click advertising fraud. Now there is a related story about Facebook ads.

Limited Run, a New York start-up company says that they found what looks like bots clicking their Facebook ads, and burning up their advertising budget. Their is no way that Facebook or Google can stop criminals from clicking on your ads. However, they can scrutinize traffic and give you refunds for fishy-looking clicks. Google AdWords does that; I don’t know about Facebook.

Google has a much larger policing problem because sites that run AdSense have an incentive to click on ads that appear on their site – at least until Google catches them. As far as I can tell, Facebook doesn’t have revenue sharing, so you can’t make any money by hiring a shady character with a bot network to click the ads that appear on your Facebook profile.

A possible motive to click Facebook ads could come from short-sellers. Right? You put on your short position, you fire up the bots, and then you sit back and wait for Facebook’s advertisers to raise a stink.

In any case, it’s Facebook’s responsibility to deliver real leads to their advertisers no matter what the bad guys are doing. And if Facebook doesn’t have a click-fraud detection system, and refund policy, in place now, they had better get one fast.

Nailed It: No Jobs-Ageddon

Two months ago, investors were freaking out over a weak payrolls report. But I took the other side of the trade right into the teeth of the panic and posted: “Jobs-Ageddon? Maybe Not“. That was on June 4th, which was the exact bottom of the summer correction – see the red arrow on this S&P 500 chart (click to enlarge):

Not bad, huh?

By contrast, on that day, beartard “Tyler Durden” at Zero Hedge predicted a further 60% drop in the XLF:

“While not all of the US financials have active CDS, the dependence between stocks and credit had remained high with current CDS levels inferring a drop of over 60% in XLF as the top 30 globally most systemically important financial entities reach their March 2009 peak in riskiness once again.”

Umm…no. The financials rallied back with the rest of the market.

Ghost Posts

If you subscribe to this blog via Google Reader, you may see three “ghost posts” in the list: “Ghost Bank”, “Don’t Mess with the US”, and “40 Acres of Sand and a Camel”. Those are all drafts, which were accidentally published and then unpublished. WordPress has an “interface bug” where your draft posts look just like published posts, and the “Publish” button is retitled to “Update” after a post is published. So, it is very easy to accidentally click “Publish” instead of “Save” on a draft after making an edit. So, that’s what happened.

In addition to that, the Googlebot monitors this site very closely. It pounces seconds after I hit the “Publish” button and adds the post to your RSS feed. And finally, Google Reader freezes posts in carbonite, Han Solo style. So, once it is in your feed, you will never see any edits made to it, and it will still be there even if it is taken down.

Audit the Fed? No, Audit the Sweatshops

Ron Paul’s bill to audit the Federal Reserve Bank passed the House of Representatives today. But what is good for the sanctimonious libertarian goose is good for the gander, right?

It was libertarian “free trade” policies that converted millions of American middle-class jobs into Asian sweatshop jobs. So, Congress should pass a law requiring webcams in every sweatshop that makes goods for export to the USA. The webcams will feed video to a free website operated by the Department of Labor, and anybody will be able to “audit” any sweatshop whenever they want.

Suicides, knife fights in dormitories, rats & roaches crawling over sleeping workers, underage girls getting their faces burned off in easily-preventable industrial accidents.

Let’s have a look at how the libertarian sausage is made, shall we?

Where Are Those Jobs Mr. Kudlow?

Larry Kudlow has been vociferously criticizing President Obama about jobs, but what about Kudlow’s own jobs plan? The free-trade agreement with South Korea that Kudlow said was the magic elixir of job-creation has been in effect since March 15th. And we now have two full months of trade data (click chart to enlarge):

As you can see, our trade deficit with South Korea has worsened dramatically both month-to-month, and year-over-year. Imports are up and exports are down. Surely Kudlow’s plan is destroying US jobs, no?

Kudlow campaigned for this agreement, but hasn’t made a peep about it since it went into effect.

What about it Mr. Kudlow? Where are the jobs? Why aren’t you popping the campaign cork on your CNBC TV show?

Data source: EXPKR & IMPKR.

Further reading:

Top Investing Websites – Update for July 2012

The Top Investing Websites page has been updated. Among the top-ten sites, there was only one change: Zero Hedge moved above ADVFN to regain the #8 position that it lost back in March.

FinViz moved above Morning Star into the #13 slot, and Wall Street Cheat Sheet continued its meteoric rise to #16. However, it won’t be easy for Wall Street Cheat Sheet to continue advancing. If you look at the table, you will see that the site is at the top of the second tier. In order to break into the top tier, they will have to take out IBD, which is 6,000 ranks higher. That’s a very long way to go.

Where Did the Crazy Go?

When I was boy, people were totally crazy. They were going to EST seminars, taking orders from Charles Manson, joining cults, drinking the Kool-Aid, and committing mass suicide. Howard Stern lived in a TM monastery, Robin Quivers was a disciple of Paul Larsen and his “Summit” cult, and bombs were dropped on the MOVE cult in Philadelphia.

I remember when I first went on the internet in 1995; you couldn’t click ten feet without hitting a Scientology flame-war. And today? Crickets. Nobody is talking about Scientology, cults, deprogramming, or anything crazy.

So, where did the crazy go? Is everybody cured now?

Ha, ha! That will be the day!

Actually, people are crazier than ever; it’s just not as visible. Today, young people are drugged with Ritalin, and jacked into the Matrix, alternating between playing “first person shooters” or watching an infinite stream of porn.

Have we made progress? On one hand, a video game can’t make you drink poison Kool-Aid. So, that’s a good thing. On the other hand, cults made their thralls work hard, often giving them valuable work skills that could be used later in life, after deprogramming.

It’s a tough call. I suppose that parents would consider it progress. At least their kids are still at home, and don’t require kidnapping out of a cult.