Skip to comments.Facebook admits millions of accounts are fake (83 million)
Posted on 08/02/2012 11:05:08 AM PDT by library user
Facebook's share price dipped below $20 on Thursday after reporting slowing growth and an admission of an alarming number of fake accounts.
In a quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the social media company said that as many as 83 million of its accounts are fake.
It also reported that as many as five percent of its active users have duplicate accounts.
Facebook members grew to 955 million this year.
It says 1.5 percent of its accounts are likely spam or accounts set up for other malicious activity. The fake accounts are concentrated in developing markets, according to the filing.
It also blames people who set up accounts for non-human entities, such as pets.
There are "inherent challenges" in measuring usage," the social network said.
"We are continually seeking to improve our ability to identify duplicate or false accounts and estimate the total number of such accounts, and such estimates may be affected by improvements or changes in our methodology," the filing continued.
The number of real users is important for Facebook as it seeks to sell advertising.
Probably under 10 million (regularly active users).
So ILLEGALS are affecting their economy as well? smurk smurk
If I’d been thinking, mine would have been fake too. I put in a minimal amount of factual data but even so, the FB snoopiness is disturbing. I just use it to access a few conservative pages so no big deal to just pull the plug, but what’s out there is out there forever.
My Dog has a Facebook account managed by my Daughter.
The dog has about 50 friends who are cats and dogs.
And you arrived at that how?
Agree I’ve got a FB account with a fake name and throwaway email address.
That’s where I get my daily talking points from Cain and Palin.
Total number of accounts aren’t really indicative of anything more than unused profiles, at the minimum.
Facebook actually has to show how many eyeballs see ads and the dormant accounts wouldn’t go into that profile.
The burden of proof is not on me, Mr. Zuckerberg.
Even with a fake name, you can be uniquely identified by the set of your friends, if somebody wants to look for you. Yet another reason to have multiple FB accounts (or none, like me)
My FB account is totally fake. I only used it a couple of times to get into some deals on the internet that required a Facebook account. Otherwise, I have never used it.
Why weren’t ‘real users’ important when they offered stock in the company?
Which is easy to figure: the number of page views from unique IP addresses per day.
IMHO, they should consider it a feature, not a bug. The alternative is going to be a much more limited FB architecture and a huge exodus of users and content providers.
60 million of them created by Indian outsourcing firms in order to “Like” Mitt Romney. /sarc
Harry Reid...is that you?
I'm not dogging on Drudge, cuz I like the guy, but I think the reason he gets so many hits is cuz if you leave his page up on your PC all day, everytime he updates his site (which is dozens, if not hundreds, of times per day) the page auto-refreshes on your screen, which produces copious additional hits per user.
If I go to Drudge at 6am and leave my PC alone, not clicking on anything all day, I bet he gets 50-100 hits, just from my computer alone.
Several of my friends had multiple accounts for exactly that reason. Not so much CHEATING at Farmville, but one account for games, one account for everything else, to keep down some of the spam to their personal feed.
There’s a Catbook app (with variants for basically every beastie I’ve ever seen kept as a pet, including rodents and ferrets) for those doing “pet pages” tho. Much easier than a separate signin.
I have a fake account. My fake personna:
Went to a real high school in a city I’ve never been to. (large so I could be anonymous).
Graduated from high school at least ten years ago. Same reason.
Graduated from a large university with a specific degree that is common for that school.
Works at a large facility for a large company that has everything from manufacturing to office jobs in the same city - A city I’ve never been to.
I’ve accepted many friend requests and then requests from “friends of these friends” though I never communicate with any of them.
The persona serves three functions.
1. I use it to confirm my privacy settings on my real account.
2. I use it to try out facebook applications that I don’t want connected to my real account (games and such).
3. The main reason: Post comments under stories at various news sites that require you to log in with facebook, twitter, disqus, etc. Anonymity.
I’m sure others do the same.
"Dormant" accounts creating bad traffic estimates aren't the real problem. The REAL problem is that FB can't make any money off of the petabytes of fake data that is stored on their servers. They have to pay to host it, but they can't sell it. Worse (for them), any data which do sell must be carefully screened and filtered, which costs additional time and money, and there is still no guarantee that the data is any good.
The solution to this problem is to NOT have selling your user's private information to third parties as the chief cornerstone of your business model.
Uhhh. No. There are probably 10 million active users between the ages of 13-24 in the US alone. Most high school girls have a facebook page that they are on constantly...and there are about 6 million of them...
advertisers on facebook can pay two ways that I know of:
Pay per View - some pennies each time your advert apears on the screen of a viewer.
Pay per Click - pay each time your advert is clicked on (linked to your website.)
If I thought Obama was in pay per click mode, I would hit his adds every time I saw one.
Either way, total number of accounts doesn’t play into the formula.
The time to deal with this was years ago. But then again, had FB required ID verification from day one it would never have been a technology leader. Openness, flexibility and anonymity are all part of the FB "special sauce." You can't pull them out now any more easily than you can pull the wheels off a moving car, and not withut similar results.
Fake in what sense? Did the company create them to appear larger and of greater value, or are they accounts set up to deceive as to whom is posting?
I don’t facebook because of their tracking of your activity after you log out; I don’t trust them not to sell information to undesirables, like the regime for example. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to set up a “fake” account but have not a clue where to start. Once they have my IP number, they can track everything I do, I’ve heard.
I use my 3-legged dog’s account to do all that stuff.
Search for Spunky and then the latin word for “3 feet” and you’ll find him...
FB is just a ponzi scheme.
That’s Dan Rather. Fake but accurate. And he stands by that.
I often wondered about that. In fact, I’ll bet half the FB accounts are duplicates. I’ve got two myself. One for the family/relatives group, and one for my generation of friends. Pretty easy to do, just set it up with one of those generic Hotmail email addresses. Virtually all my friends have several accounts each for exactly the same reason....isolating family from the horrors of unpredictable “friends”.
I’m going to have to talk to my Facebook friends Amanda Hugandkiss and Al Coholic about this.
My bad, thanks for the correction.
I don't facebook because I don't see the damn point!
Do they vote? I bet they sign some of those online petitions.
I don’t have a FB account. I’m a loser I suppose. I just don’t see the value in it.
Actually, I dont. I hate social media, and I am not a Luddite by any means. I have a FB account that sees VERY little usage.
Your post has given me the idea to create a fake ID like you did, specifically because so many sites now require a FB account, and I refuse to expose myself that way. Thanks!
My fake account was used to keep track of certain family members. No friends, photos, blah blah blah *look at me* posts...nothing. I’m actually pretty proud of my shadow persona. My siblings get a kick out of referring to my alias :)
I'm glad to hear your dog is not cataphobic. LOL
Same I have done, fake account, just to keep eye on certain relatives. Absolutely, no *Look at me” picture or comments or post.
They’ve known this all along. They should be in jail for putting out false information in their IPO.
It better not be - it has two cats that live with it.
Neither of them are on Facebook - they consider it a waste of time that could be better spent taking a nap.
1/6th of the world is on facebook. Right.
Reminds me when Myspace dropped the registration age from 18 down to 13 a few months before they IPOed the stock to boost the number of users. Didn't the stock drop to half the price within a year (as liberals abandoned the NewsCorp owned company)?
He might be. How would we know?
... I would hit his adds every time I saw one.
That's akin to sending a load of sh*t back to AARP in their Postage Paid Business Reply Envelope every time they send an offer to join. I like it!
So, I'd consider clicking his ads, just in case. But, I have add-ons to block ads in my browsers and I'm not sure I care to disable them.
Unless users live as non-opinionated Saints and especially when visiting fb, they are insane to advertise their lives on the Internet like that.
My husband foresaw the consequences of opening one’s life to FB and forbid anyone from doing it.
One son took his warning; the other opened an account once he got into college. He was soon sorry. His dad collected some pics the kid really did not want to share with dear ole dad. The story is, mom has not seen them. :)
I have a “real” FB account on which I post nothing but links to articles referenced by FR; there’s no point in posting anything else since the discourse of my “friends” is otherwise too insipid to bother with. And I have a “fake” FB account I use exclusively to access dozens of sites that allow commentary. The “fake” account uses one of my noms de guerre (war names)for such commentary. The “fake” FB account also keeps my “real” FB account from being consumed by all the FB crap injected by the commentary sites.
“The dog has about 50 friends who are cats and dogs.”
Wow! I’m impressed! Your dog has more FB “friends” than I do!