Mostly Cloudy
17°CFri :Partly Cloudy. High: 24 Low: 14

US State Department spent $630,000 to buy Facebook ‘likes’

US State Department spent $630,000 to buy Facebook 'likes'

The US State Department was Wednesday under fire for spending $630,000 over two years to win millions of “likes” on its Facebook pages at a time of severe government austerity measures.

A scathing report by the department’s independent watchdog took the coordinators of its social media outreach policy to task saying it needed to “direct its digital advertising to specific public diplomacy goals.”

The report by the Office of the Inspector General found that two advertising campaigns launched in 2011 and 2012 cost some $630,000 with the “goal of building global outreach platforms for engagement with foreign audiences by increasing the number of fans on four thematic Facebook properties.”

“Many in the bureau criticize the advertising campaigns as ‘buying fans’ who may have once clicked on a post or ‘liked’ a photo but have no real interest in the topic and have never engaged further,” read the report released late last month.

Although each of the four thematic pages run by the Bureau of International Information Programs managed to attract some 2.5 million fans by mid-March, only about 2 percent of those actually actively engaged with the sites by ‘liking’ topics or sharing information posted on it.

“Many postings had fewer than 100 comments or shares; the most popular ones had several hundred,” the report said.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the report had been taken seriously and vowed most its recommendations would be implemented before the start of the 2014 fiscal year in October.

“Online advertising has significantly decreased. It’s now at $2,500 a month,” she said, adding that “still allows us to reach out and communicate with a wide range of individuals living overseas.”

The State Department has embraced the wide outreach made possible through social media, but is still developing guidelines for how such sites as Facebook and Twitter should be used in the world of diplomacy.

 

Top Stories

10536-2808-140918-iPhone_6_Plus-Teardown-l

Initially iphone 6 & iphone 6 Plus teardowns uncover high-limit batteries, modified innards

September-19-2014
Nearing hours after Apple dispatched the iphone 6 and 6 Plus on Friday, repair firms and sites are as of now performing
Untitled-5 copy-163781

Last rundown of Bigg Boss 8 candidates uncovered

September-19-2014
Mumbai: The most famous reality TV show ‘Bigg Boss 8′, facilitated by none however the widely adored Salman Khan will go on
hope-whosoever-comes-to-power-will-manage-country-well-says-indra-nooyi_111113095932

Fortune positions Indra Nooyi third most capable ladies ready to go

September-19-2014
New York: Pepsico’s India-conceived CEO Indra Nooyi has been positioned third most compelling businessperson by Fortune, the main Indian-beginning lady on the
Uddhav_Modi_AP_360

Shiv Sena Warns BJP on Seat-Sharing, Says ‘We Are Not Asking, We Are Giving’

September-19-2014
In the round of brinksmanship that the accomplices of 25 years are playing over seat-imparting for the Maharashtra races, the Shiv Sena
980189ac-ecf3-452c-b7a0-3bdc4f505fcdWallpAutoWallpaper2

Movie Review: Fawad Khan, Kirron Kher attempt yet neglect to spare Khoobsurat

September-19-2014
Sonam Kapoor’s Khoobsurat offering Fawad Khan inverse her, hits theaters on Friday. Touted as a redo of Hrishikesh Mukerhjee’s Khoobsurat (1980), the
children

Fighting Parents Can Hurt Emotional Growth of Children

September-18-2014
Wrangling parents put the enthusiastic development of their youngsters in peril, as indicated by another research by New York University. Conjugal issues