8.7% or About 83 Million Facebook Accounts Are Fake
Article by George Norman
On 03 Aug 2012
According to company filings published earlier this week by popular social networking site Facebook, there are a considerable amount of fakes among its total of 955 million active accounts. Tens of millions of fake accounts as a matter of fact.

8.7% of all active Facebook accounts, which amounts to some 83 million accounts, are fake Facebook explained. That percentage can be broken down as follows:
  • 4.8% are duplicate profiles. The user accesses Facebook on a main account, but he also has a secondary account that he maintains.
  • 2.4% are user-misclassified accounts. These are Facebook accounts that were registered by users for their pets or by professionals for various businesses.
  • 1.5% are profiles created by “undesirable” users. These are accounts created for spamming and other purposes that violate Facebook’s terms of service.

As of June 2012, Facebook has a total of 955 million active users (MAU for short). So if 8.7% or 83 million are fake accounts, then Facebook’s MAU is 872 million, not 955. The company’s MAU is important for generating income; Facebook’s business model, as I’m sure you already know, relies on targeted advertising.


“If we fail to retain existing users or add new users, or if our users decrease their level of engagement with Facebook, our revenue, financial results, and business may be significantly harmed,” explained Facebook.

All this talk about fake accounts reminds me how security company Sophos, with the aim of uncovering how much private information people are willing to give away to strangers, set up an account for a non-existent 21-year-old women called Daisy Felettin (that’s an anagram for “false identity”) and used the image of a rubber ducky for the profile pic.

Invitations were sent out to 50 randomly-chosen strangers and 46 of them responded. They became friends with the rubber ducky and disclosed private information about themselves. Someone with malicious intent could have used that data for ID theft. Read more about this topic on FindMySoft here.

Tags: Facebook, security, Sophos
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
You can follow him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter

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