Facebook Announces Decline in Bogus Accounts, Rise in Duplicate Profiles

facebook general 4Now that Facebook is a publicly traded company, they’re required to make quarterly disclosures about their practices, and that includes disclosing the number of active fake or duplicate profiles. Facebook pledged last year to word toward eliminating scam profiles from the site entirely, and while they haven’t yet achieved that lofty goal, the 2012 fourth-quarter numbers do show a slight dip in malicious pages.

The total overall percentage of fake accounts declined from 8.7 percent to 7.2 percent, though the total whole number of duplicate accounts actually increased by about 7 million accounts. However, the total number of fake accounts decreased from 83 million accounts to 76 million in the last six months. Since Facebook rededicated itself to eliminating fake profiles, they have especially set their sights on malicious accounts, or “undesirable” users.

The number of fake Facebook accounts that were considered malicious in the second quarter of 2012 accounted for only 1.5 percent of fake accounts at that time. However, by the fourth quarter of the year, that number had declined to only .9 percent. However, with 1 billion active users, this equates to roughly 9 million accounts. We often warn our readers about the dangers of fake profiles.

There are higher percentages of duplicate or misclassified accounts (think pages for pets, inanimate objects, mascots, etc.) than truly harmful spam accounts, but Facebook knows that the vast majority of those accounts are fairly innocuous. They’ll most likely get around to eliminating those eventually, but for now, the number of undesirable accounts on the site is decreasing, and that can only be a good thing for Facebook’s 1 billion active users.


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