[loveMachine] reached level 2

Object can not be liked

More than a month already has passed since I’ve planned to write this post. I thought about naming it “[loveMachine] frustration level 2” or “[loveMachine] turns into a hate machine” as suggested by some users. But its a totally different post that I’m glad to write today.

Since the beginning of June, Facebook has been acting strangely in response to my automated liking script. For a couple of weeks, I was so often blocked from liking, that I was not even able to find a pattern or a maximum number of likes that could be interpreted as “good behavior” by Facebook. Sometimes, 50 likes would get me banned. Sometimes, 200. It didn’t seem to have any logic. And the ban would last from 12 to 36 hours. Making the process of adjustment even more difficult.

But then, as if nothing happened, everything went back to normal. Or so I thought. The [loveMachine] was clicking likes. They seemed to be validated, and fb_friends were receiving notifications for it. But there were no traces of these likes, none under the posts nor in my Facebook “activity log” page. Only likes under comments were being validated normally. After a little digging, and with the help of some other users, we found out that Facebook detects that it’s a script doing the likes and instead of blocking the script, it would just invalidate the likes 30 seconds or so after they were being done. This generated a lot of frustration among users because friends were notified of their post being liked, but not seeing any likes under it. It also puzzled me because I didn’t know how to find a workaround or how Facebook was even detecting that I was using a script. It also turned the loveMachine into a loveCommentsOnly machine.

Andrew wrote:

The love machine has kind of turned into a hate machine. It likes things then unlikes them now for me giving people notifications with no visible likes.

Mohd wrote:

Don’t like my comments.:-@
*if u have to like, then like my pics only.

I was prepared to rework the whole script or turn into a “comments only liker” when something magic happened. And this is the true “level 2” of this project. I received contributions from other users. Yes. In the jargon, I got my first pull request. For the non techies, it means that other users of my script were sending me code improvements. The first one came from Anna Li. She worked on a bash script for Windows to ease the installation of the [loveMachine] and its necessary dependences. Then Andrew Nakas proposed some fixes for the “liking problem”. He found out that by using the mobile version of Facebook, the likes seemed to be activated normally by the script and Facebook doesn’t remove those likes afterwards. A consequence of this is that comments are not liked anymore, since they are not displayed by default on the mobile version of the site. But I guess that’s not too important for now. So thanks to Andrew’s input, the [loveMachine] is back on track for me and him and all the ones that have enjoyed the script so far.

Let’s see how long this new version will behave “against” the giant Turing test machine called Facebook.