Eli5: Social media posts that are obviously just farming for comments

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I see posts all the time, usually I’m popular groups, that read like:

We’re going through and deleting inactive members, reply “yes” to remain the the group

Or

No word in the English language contains a “oo” except the work good, prove me wrong

These posts are obviously just farming for comments for some reason. Are they looking for active accounts? Can they use your response in some nefarious way? Is it just someone trying to up their popularity or comment count?

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2 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Social media algorithms take into account how much activity a post gets when deciding how many people to show it to.

If I post something and get 100 comments, the site will show it to more people than if I post it and get 0 comments because it assumes I’m posting more relevant content if more people are interacting with it.

Anonymous 0 Comments

They’re usually bots posting topics that are known to elicit a high number of comments.

The idea is to automate the process of giving those accounts the appearance of legitimacy by giving them a posting history and (in the case of Reddit) karma.

Then, after a while, the accounts can be used by bad actors (e.g. government sponsored trolls, advertisers, etc…) to spread disinformation in an attempt to sway public opinion and/or sow discord.

Many people still read things on social media and accept it at face value without verifying it is true, or from a legitimate source, and so they are very vulnerable to having their opinions swayed by such accounts.