In its 10-Q filing that Facebook made public this week, it revealed that 8.7 percent, or 83.09 million accounts, on the social networking site are fake. This number marks a huge leap from the number of fake accounts that Facebook made public in March – between 42.25 million and 50.70 million. Facebook, according to this report, is being more transparent about what fake accounts it is targetting. Earlier, Facebook listed only two categories of fake accounts – duplicate users and false users. It has now recategorised them into duplicate accounts (4.8 percent), misclassified accounts (2.4 percent), and undesirable accounts (1.5 percent).
83.09 million accounts on Facebook are fake
Facebook has further revealed that as on June 30, 2012, 4.8 percent of their worldwide monthly active users (MAUs) had duplicate accounts. Duplicate accounts are essentially those that users create in addition to their 'principal account'. Then there are false accounts that can be divided into two categories – user-misclassified accounts and undesirable accounts. User-misclassified accounts are personal profiles created for businesses, organizations, or non-human entities such as pets. These, as per Facebook's Terms of Service, are required to use a Page and not a personal profile. Then there are undesirable accounts, which are created for activities such as spamming.
The social networking giant further adds that the numbers put forth by them are also affected by such applications on some mobile devices that manage to “automatically contact our servers for regular updates with no user action involved.” This activity, specifies Facebook, leads their system to count the associated user as an active user for that particular contact. Figures depicting mobile activity and its subsequent effect on the numbers vary from region to region. The report details further, ” In addition, our data regarding the geographic location of our users is estimated based on a number of factors, such as the user’s IP address and self-disclosed location. These factors may not always accurately reflect the user’s actual location. For example, a mobile-only user may appear to be accessing Facebook from the location of the proxy server that the user connects to rather than from the user’s actual location.”