Eye-Opening Photos and Video Taken Inside Illegal Click Farms

Posted by on May 22, 2019 3:34 am
Tags: ,
Categories: NATIONAL HEADLINES

I live out in the middle of nowhere, but I still get tons of scam-tastic Mandarin robo-calls. It makes me miss the days of being e-mailed by Nigerian princes. Scams evolve as technology improves, and nowhere is this more evident than in the proliferation of click farms.

Click farms set up banks of inexpensive computers and smartphones, and staff them with low-paid workers who artificially boost your social media accounts, download apps to boost rankings, load the same YouTube video to inflate views, or repetitively click on ads to fool advertisers into thinking they’re getting their money’s worth. Seeing inside these click farm operations is truly astonishing:

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This operation in China reportedly has more than 10,000 phones in use:

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In this one, which has a combination of computers and smartphones, the employees even appear to be wearing uniforms:

By the bye, to set up a click farm you needn’t buy tons of phones. This farm in Thailand, which was reportedly set up by a trio of Chinese nationals to boost WeChat stats, had less than 500 phones–but rotated nearly 350,000 SIM cards between them:

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Police got wind of it and arrested the men running the operation. They reported that they earned USD $2,950 to $4,400 per month, which comes out to $35,400 to $52,800 per year. That’s presumably a lot more than an actual farmer earns in China.

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I wonder how much the woman who recorded the Mandarin robo-call was paid, and how much her handlers earn.



Rain Noe

Rain Noe is a writer and industrial designer based in New York City.

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