In an updated regulatory filing released Wednesday, Facebook said that 8.7 percent of its 955 million monthly active users worldwide are actually duplicate or false accounts. So what are those 83 million undesired accounts doing? They’re a mixture of innocent and malicious, and Facebook has divvied them up into three categories: duplicate accounts, misclassified accounts and “undesirable” accounts.
Duplicate accounts make up 4.8% (45.8 million) of Facebook’s total active member tally. According to the network’s terms of service, users are not allowed to have more than one Facebook personal account or make accounts on behalf of other people. Parents creating Facebook accounts for their young kids are violating two rules, since people under 13 are not allowed to have Facebook profiles.
Misclassified accounts are personal profiles that have been made for companies, groups or pets. Those types of profiles (22.9 million) are allowed on Facebook, but they need to be created as Pages. Facebook estimates that 2.4% of its active accounts are these non-human personal accounts. These accounts can be converted into approved pages without losing information. Pets such as Boo, the self-anointed “world’s cutest dog,” are typically classified as Public Figures.
The third group is the smallest — just 1.5% of all active accounts — but most troublesome. There are 14.3 million undesirable accounts that Facebook believes have been created specifically for purposes that violate the companies terms, like spamming.
Facebook disables any false accounts it finds, and while it wipes all the information associated with the name from public view, it doesn’t delete the account from its servers “for safety and security” reasons. The disabled account goes into a sort of Facebook limbo, where the owner of the account can’t get their hands on any of the content — photos, posts, videos — not even by requesting a copy of the data, according to Facebook.
Are you one of the 83 million Facebook users who have dupe accounts? Do you think these fake accounts are detrimental to the social media environment?
Image: The Info Byte