Almost 9% of Facebook accounts are fake, says company

Originally Published: March 28, 2019 Last Updated: March 28, 2019

More than 83 million Facebook accounts (8.7 per cent of total users) are fake. These consist of duplicate profiles, accounts for spamming purposes and personal profiles for business, organisation or non-human entities such as pets. Following this revelation, the share price of Facebook dropped below $20. Facebook estimated that duplicate or false accounts were lower in developed markets like the United States or Australia, and higher in developing markets that include Indonesia and Turkey, according to the filing.

  • The figure emerged in Facebook's first quarterly report in August 2012 to US financial regulators since the world's biggest social network made its much-criticised stockmarket debut in May 2012. In a return published in August 2012, the company said 8.7 per cent of its 955 million global users were not real.
  • There were 83.09 million fake users in total, which Facebook classifies into three groups.
  • The largest was made up of almost 46 million duplicate profiles, accounting for 4.8 per cent of accounts. This category was ''an account that a user maintains in addition to his or her principal account''.
  • The ''user-misclassified'' profiles amounted to 2.4 per cent, almost 23 million, where ''users have created personal profiles for a business, organisation or non-human entity such as a pet'."
  • The, ''undesirable'' profiles accounted for the remainder, about 14 million, which were deemed to be in breach of Facebook's terms and conditions. This typically means accounts that have been set up to send spam messages or content to other Facebook users.
  • The company said in its filing: ''We generate a substantial majority of our revenue from advertising. The loss of advertisers, or reduction in spending by advertisers with Facebook, could seriously harm our business.''