76 million fake accounts on Facebook, or are there?


Although many would say there are far more fake accounts, Facebook has admitted that in the past year about 76 million "fake" profiles have been opened on their service that has just over a billion users. These fall under the double accounts, wrongly classified and unwanted accounts and those where users deliberately identify themselves with a false name. In total, therefore, according to Facebook the fake accounts amount to 7% of the total number of users.

It is interesting that spammers have, by Facebook’s statistics that they have submitted to the SEC last Friday, only 9.5 million accounts, accounting for less than 1% of all accounts on the service. However, estimates have been made based on the limited sample of unknown size, so that the relevance remains questionable.

Using false names and data is contrary to the official policy of the company and this encourages users to report those suspected of doing it. Also it is good to know that kids below 13 years of age are not allowed on Facebook, but you can still find them, so it is also good idea to report them too, since they can find all sorts of inappropriate stuff there by just liking some specific group or page.

[Ed – this is not the first time that this has been brought up and it is unlikely to be the last. Any service like Facebook is bound to have fake accounts, spammers, phishers and worse. In fact I would take 76 million spammers over some of the alternatives that plague social networking services. Still, it would be nice to see Facebook improve their tools for finding and removing these accounts including better tools for users to report them.]

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