Today's Special - Honesty in soliciting Facebook Likes puts truth on the social media menu!

Filed Under: Facebook, Featured, Social networks

How do you know whether you can trust other peoples' online recommendations?

In an online world peppered with sockpuppetry, astroturfing and social media bistromathics, how can you tell what to believe?

Are those Facebook Likes earned, bought or merely a side-effect of a virtual flash crowd?

How do you know whether the proud owner of a bunch of Likes is being honest about how those Likes were gleaned?

Has anyone ever actually told the truth about where their Likes came from?

I am pleased to say that I now have an existence proof of commercial honesty in respect of social media, spotted this morning outside an eatery in one of the bijou bits (well, bijouesque) of the City of North Sydney:

Will you look at that!

If you click "like" on Facebook, you can get a free drink!!!

You have to work out where on Facebook, of course, though you can presumably ask the waitstaff, and only then do you find out what sort of drink. (It's a can of Kickapoo Joy Juice, apparently, or a small sake.)

To maintain the social media mystery, I'm not going to tell you where the eatery is, but I will send a modest prize* to the first person to post a comment below identifying the name and address of the restaurant. (You don't need to be in Sydney, or even in Australia, to work it out. I've provided a photo. Now think how you might geolocate it.)

By the way, if you happen to eat there any time soon, tell them Naked Security says, "Hi," and let them know there's an L in garlic.


[*] Maximum prize value AU$20. My discretion applies. If you're in North Sydney I might even drop it off. Otherwise it'll turn up in the mail. Winner will need to identify him or herself in some way to my satisfaction. There is no free iPad.

Sockpuppet image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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36 Responses to Today's Special - Honesty in soliciting Facebook Likes puts truth on the social media menu!

  1. Blockader · 1101 days ago

    I was checking out some news online yesterday when a window popped up saying if I wanted to finish reading the story I had to like the site on Facebook. Can you say desperate and needy?

    • Paul Ducklin · 1101 days ago

      Or "outright scam". Like-before-you-know-what-you're-liking is a hallmark of spams/scams, since it is a scam to ask you to recommend something without knowing what it is, just as it's a scam to issue an annual safety check certificate (what used to be a Pink Slip before it went online) for a vehicle without actually checking it :-)

      • Don · 1100 days ago

        Ok! so what if you deleted your Facebook account like i did,You can't see anything any more? Thats one of the reasons that i dumped Fb..To much crap like that.

  2. Mel Osborne · 1101 days ago

    My guess... Sushi Tei Sydney

    • Paul Ducklin · 1101 days ago

      "Spotted this morning outside an eatery in one of the bijou bits (well, bijouesque) **of the City of North Sydney**" (my emphasis). Sushi Tei - at least according to Google - has two premises, both across the bridge in the CBD.

      So - you are close. But you need to cross the bridge.

      • Mel Osborne · 1101 days ago

        The other is... ;)

        Sushi Tei
        127 Liverpool Street
        Sydney NSW 2000 Australia

        • Paul Ducklin · 1101 days ago

          You're not hearing me here :-) _You're on the wrong side of the bridge_.

          • Mel Osborne · 1101 days ago

            True - I did miss that bit. ;)

            I'm here in west, Tennessee, USA and thought I'd give it a shot. Thanks much for letting me play and congrats on finding a winner :)

  3. Rob · 1101 days ago

    Andy's in Miller Street?
    Rob from Perth :-)

    • Paul Ducklin · 1101 days ago

      Are you asking me, or telling me? (Actually, I think you're guessing :-)

      I'll give everyone a small clue. Two, in fact. It's not a sushi restaurant, at least inasmuch as that's not its main claim to fame. In particular, it doesn't have the word "Sushi" in its name. And though it is in the City of North Sydney (it was supposed to be a hint that I wrote it out that way) it is not actually in the suburb of North Sydney.

      So it is in Cammeray, Cremorne, Cremorne Point, Crows Nest, Kirribilli, Kurraba Point, Lavender Bay, McMahons Point, Milsons Point, Neutral Bay, St Leonards, Waverton or Wollstonecraft.

      Easy, really. I'll give you all a third clue. It's not in Kurraba Point.

  4. Kimberly · 1101 days ago

    [Geolocation data redacted]

    [Address redacted]
    [Suburb redacted] NSW 20[xx], Australia

    [Kimberly was close. But not close enough. Details redacted to avoid spoilage.]

  5. Adrian · 1101 days ago

    [Name redacted], Neutral Bay
    Japanese restaurant [description redacted]
    [Address redacted], Neutral Bay, NSW.

    [Correct! We have a winner. Details redacted for those who wish to try solving anyway.]

    • Adrian · 1101 days ago

      Woohoo! And then to think I live nowhere near Australia . . . but in The Netherlands. Almost as far away as possible. Isn't the internet great?

      • Paul Ducklin · 1101 days ago

        Actually, the antipodeal point to Neutral Bay is in the Atlantic Ocean, just south of the Azores. So you can get further away and still be in Europe. Sort of. Here's a live map site which shows you:

        As you rightly say, isn't the internet great?

  6. Mel Osborne · 1101 days ago

    Congrats :)

  7. Debbie Stephens · 1101 days ago

    I can't work out how to geolocate from that picture. :(
    fail me.

    • Paul Ducklin · 1101 days ago

      Try saving the actual image and digging into the file itself. Even if you were to open it with NOTEPAD (weird though that sounds) you might just find some metadata buried in it. Then take it from there...

      • Adrian · 1101 days ago

        Don't know if this is too much info, but I used [redacted] EXIF viewer at [redacted].

      • Anonymous · 1100 days ago

        Paul, I have a Mac and couldn't get what seemed to be useful info when I opened the downloaded image in any number of applications (e.g., iPhoto, Notepad, Google Chrome, Pages, iPaint, and more). I'm not computer-savvy. Can you please provide an alternate suggestion on how readers can extract GPS data from digital photos?

        • Paul Ducklin · 1100 days ago

          I know it sounds like cheating, but did you try saving the image to your Mac and opening it with TextEdit :-) If there's an image comment in there as ASCII text, maybe it will just show up legibly inamongst the JPEG binary blubber?

      • Anonymous · 1099 days ago

        I opened the file in Notepad and spent a good five or ten minutes scanning the gobbledegook. I was ready to give up and close the file when ... I noticed what appeared to be [redacted]! I copied the [redacted] into [redacted], et viola! I think I've cracked this. :-)

        This was fun and I've learned something! Cheers.

        [Redacted] Japanese Restaurant)
        [Redacted] Street
        Neutral Bay NSW 2089

        Wish I were there!

        [Correct! PS. It's closed at the moment. They don't open for breakfast IIRC.]

  8. GreyBeard · 1101 days ago

    Is the chopper bike with the tail pipes still there?

    • Paul Ducklin · 1101 days ago

      I didn't notice it - though of course I wasn't looking for it. But I did see it outside a pub up on Military Road a week or three ago. (Wasn't looking for it then, but it made itself visible.)

  9. David Parreira · 1101 days ago

    The [redacted] contains the following: [redacted] which are GPS coordinates...after it's just a question of mapping it to a map.


    [David's made a start. But there's a bit more than "just a question of mapping it" still to go. We know the restaurant is on the map somewhere. The question is, _where_? And what's it called?]

  10. Björn · 1101 days ago

    [Redacted] Restaurant
    [Redacted] Street
    Neutral Bay NSW 2089, Australia


  11. Michelinda Beisly Smith · 1100 days ago

    I just love the missing "L" in Garlic. I habitually stop at hand made signs and correct them with an ink pen - preferably with the little down arrow and the correction above the word so it is noticeable. I can't resist it, though it embarrasses my husband. I have been known to draw a picture of a witch over the word "which" spelled wrong (with an arrow from the word to the picture).

    • Paul Ducklin · 1100 days ago

      If you transliterate "garlic" into Japanese and adapt for Japanes pronunciation, where the syllables "ri" and "li" aren't distinguishable, you get "gaarikku".

      Even though Japanese has its own word for garlic, I understand it also has "gaarikku" - so mis-spelling it "garic" when transliterating back into English is an entirely understandable mistake.

      We no what the writer ment, so with hindsite it was a bit mean of me to point it out.

      (I'm not going to change the article, though. I want to see if they update the spelling - I'm using it as an internet tracking device to see if they follow Naked Security.)

  12. Ken · 1100 days ago

    It is a bigger problem than I first thought. If you go to, you will find people offering contracts for x number of likes on Facebook. Also true of Twitter.

  13. David · 1100 days ago

    [Redacted longitude] East [redacted latitude] South on [redacted map site]

    [Redacted] Restaurant
    [Redacted] Street
    Neutral Bay NSW 2089

    Apparantly, they do know how to spell "garlic" correctly since they got it right on their Facebook page: [redacted facebook link]

    Do I get any points for finding this photo of their business license? [Redacted image link]

    [Correct! But the licence photo doesn't get you extra points, I'm afraid. Just a greater sense of dread about geolocation.]

  14. Rob · 1100 days ago

    I've seen similar tactics - a hairdresser offering a (from memory) 10% discount if you "like" them on facebook (it took some time, but I finally found their page; it had about 16 likes!)

  15. PeteN · 1100 days ago

    Hi Duck - was the "chlak" just you, propagating the typo thread or was it a genuine typo of you're own ;-)
    - Pete

  16. Nigel · 1099 days ago

    I dragged the photo to my desktop and opened it in Text Edit. The [redacted] showed as follows:


    [Redacted] came up with an address for

    [Redacted] Street
    Neutral Bay, NSW 2089, Australia

    [Redacted] was inconclusive, so I [redacted] and found the following establishment, whose Facebook page gives this information:

    [Redacted] Street,
    Neutral Bay, NSW

    The Facebook page has an image of an older "Today's Special" chalk board similar to that on the image [redacted]. Seems pretty conclusive that [redacted] is the restaurant in question.

    Needless to say, I do not include geolocation metadata in my photos.


  17. Anon · 1098 days ago

    Here??? [Link to mapping site redacted.]

    [Very close. But you need the name and address of the restaurant. A photo of a streetscape isn't quite enough :-]

  18. PirateSec · 828 days ago

    Im doing all the old puzzles now. got hooked by doing the AusCERT 2013.

    i see that i shouldnt post the solution here so im just gonna leave this here as token of proof of solution: KY

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About the author

Paul Ducklin is a passionate security proselytiser. (That's like an evangelist, but more so!) He lives and breathes computer security, and would be happy for you to do so, too. Paul won the inaugural AusCERT Director's Award for Individual Excellence in Computer Security in 2009. Follow him on Twitter: @duckblog