Kwai Tsing District Council has been accused of spending HK$630,000 on fake “likes” on a Facebook page.
A document published by the District Council showed that the money was spent on a Facebook page for Kwai Tsing’s community programme. It said the page would serve to promote the programme efficiently across the community and garner support.
The community programme aimed to enhance healthcare services in the district.
Lawmaker Eric Lam Lap-chi told local media that the “likes” were “fake.” He pointed out that most of the “likes” came from Taiwanese and Indonesians rather than locals. “It’s pointless and a waste of public funds.”
In a meeting in July, lawmaker Hui Kei-cheung said that the public funds spent on the Facebook page should go towards cataract patients in the district instead.
The programme was part of a plan allocating HK$100 million to each district for community projects, proposed by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying in his 2013 policy address.
A response was posted on the Facebook page explaining the decision. “As a Facebook user yourself, we believe you understand how effective it is.”
“The Kwai Tsing District Council decided to allocate the funds towards Facebook promotions in March and hopes to further spread the message of healthy living across the community,” it said.
At the time of press, the page has more than 12,000 likes.