Facebook Has More Than 83 Million Fake Users


LONDON – Social network Facebook has said there are now more than 83 million fake users on the website, BBC reported Thursday.

The company said 8.7 percent of its 955 million active users might not be real. Duplicate profiles made up 4.8 percent of the users while 1.5 percent of users were described as “undesirable”.

In total, the company said it estimated there were 83.09 million fake users, which it classified in three groups.

The largest group of “fakes” were duplicates, which the company defined as “an account that a user maintains in addition to his or her principal account”.

Others were described as “user-misclassified” where, Facebook explained “users have created personal profiles for a business, organisation, or non-human entity such as a pet”.

Finally, “undesirable” accounts were profiles deemed to be in breach of Facebook’s terms of service. This meant profiles which have been used for sending out spam messages or other content, BBC said.

A BBC investigation, in which a fake company called VirtualBagel was set up to investigate allegations of fake “likes”, found that the large majority of “likes” for the fake firm originated from the Middle East and Asia.

Many users appeared to be false, such as “Ahmed Ronaldo” – said to be a Cairo-based user employed by Spanish football club Real Madrid.

Digital distribution firm Limited Press alleged that, based on its own analytics software, 80 percent of clicks on its advertisements within Facebook had come from fake users.