Facebook admits that 83m of its accounts are fake

03. August 2012
Facebook has admitted that more than 83 million accounts on its social network may be fake, representing 8.7 percent of its 955 million active users.

In documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) earlier this week, FacebookFacebook divided fake profiles into three categories: "duplicate", user-misclassified" and "undesirable". Alles zu Facebook auf CIO.de

A duplicate is "an account that a user maintains in addition to his or her principal account," user-misclassified accounts are those created for "a business, organisation, or non-human entity such as a pet," and undesirable accounts are those deemed to be in breach of Facebook's terms of service.

Facebook revealed that duplicate profiles make up 4.8 percent of the users, user-misclassified accounts account for 2.4 percent, and 1.5 percent of users were undesirable. Numbers are based on a sample of live accounts.

The news is significant given that the vast majority of Facebook's revenue is from advertising. Advertisers pay for ad products, including sponsored stories in users' News Feeds, based on the number of impressions delivered or the number of clicks made by those users.

"The loss of advertisers, or reduction in spending by advertisers with Facebook, could seriously harm our business," the company said in its filing.