State Department officials spent $630,000 to get more Facebook “likes,” prompting employees to complain to a government watchdog that the bureau was “buying fans” in social media, the agency’s inspector general says.

The department’s Bureau of International Information Programs spent the money to increase its “likes” count between 2011 and March 2013.

“Many in the bureau criticize the advertising campaigns as ‘buying fans’ who may have once clicked on an ad or ‘liked’ a photo but have no real interest in the topic and have never engaged further,” the inspector general reported.

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