Some questioning thousands of new "likes" on SDSU West Facebook page

Posted at 7:10 PM, Nov 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-15 22:10:03-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- The future of SDCCU Stadium, formerly Qualcomm, will be in the hands of voters in 2018.

The SoccerCity San Diego proposal has already earned its spot on the ballot and now SDSU West is hoping to do the same.

If SDSU West can win the votes, it plans to put a university research center, stadium and river park on the stadium site.

As for SoccerCity, planners hope to create a mixed-use stadium for MLS Soccer and college football, parks, housing, and entertainment.

This week some SoccerCity supporters noticed "likes" on the SDSU West Facebook page increased significantly, from just under 500 to nearly 50,000 in a few days.

Confusion turned to frustration when they noticed they too "liked" the page when in fact they hadn't.

"I went to investigate myself to see if that was true, and sure enough when I went on the page I had liked and followed it, without ever having liked or followed it," said Dory Freiberg, an SDSU alum.

Freiberg says he's been open to learning more about the SDSU West plan but currently believes SoccerCity will be better for the city.

"I want to make sure that if it is defeated it's defeated legitimately because it's not the best plan for the city and not any kind of underhandedness," said Freiberg.

James Stroud, a longtime San Diego resident, says he too noticed he "liked" the page when in fact he never clicked the 'like' button.

"It's something that makes them appear more popular than they are, gives them an aura of importance or trustworthiness when it wasn't deserved," Stroud believes.

Stroud believes that's problematic as SDSU West tries to garner signatures to get on the November ballot.

A quick search of Facebook community forums shows it's not a new issue. In general, some social media bloggers suggest a third party app could be doing the "liking" for you.

10News reached out to SDSU West and received this statement from Friends of SDSU:

"Like any campaign, we are not going to publicly release our social media strategy. All outreach done for the page was above board and within the guidelines that Facebook has set to effectively advertise and reach audiences. A relative of the FS Investors' team, who is an expert in social media, is the only one orchestrating controversy on this."

10News asked Facebook about the concerns and a spokesperson said they were looking into the issue.

Pages can pay for advertising campaigns to try and get more likes, targeting certain groups of people in specific cities.

Learn more about SoccerCity and SDSU West.