[loveMachine]

Automatic like processor

What?

[loveMachine] is a program (or as I prefer to call it, a bot) that will log into a Facebook account, repetitively click the “like” buttons on every possible content shown in the home stream, then post its amazing score as a status and log out.

[loveMachine] is now written in javascript and uses CasperJs. The code is shared on Github

[loveMachine] is a piece of software art by @xuv

Why?

The “like” feature is what we know Facebook for. It's a symbol of it. It might be what describes it the most. It is its own metaphor. It is also used by everyone (at least once). And everybody likes to have a “like” on their post. Some people even “like” their own posts, which annoys others… (but that's another story).

There is no “dislike”, which some people have tried to bring in. But there is an “unlike”, if you changed your mind or clicked too fast.

A “like” is not a comment (in the Facebook sense). Though it can have different meanings and be used as “I read”, “I saw”, “I agree”, “I'm watching you”, “I'm here”, “I wish”, “I buy”, “thank you”,…

And surely Facebook uses this feature to profile their users and have them engage with advertisers or any kind of merchants.

So, because I have so many fb_friends I want to please and so little time, I've decided to automated my “likes”. So Facebook will have to deal with it (whatever that means) and my fb_friends will be comforted that what they do is right. And I couldn't wish them better.

This project was inspired by (and is a response to) a workshop with moddr_, the creators of Web2.0 suicide machine

Do you need a reason to run it?

  • You already like everything your friends post on Facebook. This will save you time.
  • You want attention from your friends. By liking everything they do, they'll notice you.
  • You are concerned about your privacy and would like to insert false preferences in your Facebook profile.
  • You think Facebook is stupid by letting you do this. And you like making Facebook look stupid.
  • You think you can get a higher like score than someone who used the software before you.
  • You just like free stuff.

Installation

The actual script has been tested on debian.

You will need:

Here is a little tutorial on how to install CasperJs and PhantomJs on Debian stable: https://www.dvdheiden.nl/2013/07/30/installing-phantomjs-and-casperjs-on-linux/

Usage:

If you just want to run it by “hand”, go into the directory where you downloaded the loveMachine and execute this command:

caserjs loveMachine.js --email=<fb_login> --password=<fb_password>

If you want to setup a cron every hour, you will have to write a crontab like this:

loveCron
0 */1 * * *  PHANTOMJS_EXECUTABLE=/usr/local/bin/phantomjs /usr/local/bin/casperjs /home/juego/loveMachine/casperjs/loveMachine.js --email=<fb_login> --password=<fb_password> > loveMachine.log

You'll have to also set this line at the beginning of loveMachine.js file to an absolute path:

var casper = require('casper').create({
    clientScripts: [
        'include/jquery-1.10.2.min.js' // <- Change this to an absolute path 
    ],
[loveMachine]
  • Extra notes (Random stuff used during the developpement of this project)
  • Journal (A time track of this project)

Thoughts & observations

Although Facebook, in their attempt to prevent spam, seems to put a limit on the number of comments or wall posts you can make during a certain period, they do not seem to prevent compulsive liking behavior.

Most people who have heard about this project appreciate the idea and find it fun and/or interesting, but almost all of them would not run this piece of software on their own account. The main reason is that it “likes” everything. And the idea of “liking” something they would not “like” is problematic. Unwanted likes would be:

  • liking racist content
  • liking a depressive statement, a call for help or a health problem
  • liking something that does not reflect your personal preferences

Even if most people will say the contrary, this proves that we identify a lot with our Facebook profile. And anything that interferes or tampers with it would be seen as unwanted (if not aggressive) behavior.

A list of words that people used to describe the project:
  • Face-bot
  • StatEthique
  • Like machine
  • Likespam
  • Likematic
Quotations
  • “[Facebook], c'est de l'exhibitionnisme. Autant montrer ses organes génitaux!” Jacqueline Harpman (Écrivain et psychanalyste) - Le Soir 09/11/2011
  • “Ce n'est pas la même chose de 'follower' (suivre) sur Twitter que de 'liker' (aimer) sur Facebook. Le lien est plus affectif. L'audience est aussi plus captive.” Conseiller de Nicolas Sarkozy

Future?

Some thoughts regarding the possible evolution of the script:

  • Like ads? pages?
  • Turn it into a one-click-setup-and-play application