Something's 'Suspicious' About LA's Olympics Facebook Page

Los Angeles Olympics campaign gets lots of likes—from Pakistan
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 5, 2017 3:54 PM CDT
LA Olympics Campaign Gets Lots of Likes—From Pakistan
Los Angeles   (Getty Images/ferrantraite)

More than a million Facebook users like the idea of hosting the 2024 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Many of them, oddly enough, from Pakistan. A report prepared for the AP says most of LA's likes have come in the past six weeks from far away from Southern California. An analyst says it "does seem suspicious": "Countries such as Bangladesh and Pakistan suddenly spike from almost zero to tens of thousands of fans within a few days in February." LA campaign spokesman Jeff Millman said there was nothing suspicious about the figures. He said LA kicked off a series of Facebook advertisements starting Feb. 3.

Millman argued that it made sense to seek fans internationally. "We are a global campaign, as the Olympic movement is global," he said. The figures give some insight into the dynamics of both the Paris and Los Angeles social media campaigns. By the end of 2016, Los Angeles had 209,000 or so likes, nearly all of which came from the US. Paris had 62,000 or so fans, 80% of which came from France. By last week, both sides' figures had grown. Paris' Facebook page tripled its following, but four out of five endorsements came from France, with many of the others originating in Algeria and Tunisia, former French colonies. LA saw an explosion in support from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Indonesia, Egypt, India, Afghanistan, and other low-income countries. (More Olympics stories.)

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