Questionable Facebook Accounts Estimated at 83 Million

Facebook reports that it has more than 950 million monthly active users (MAUs) on its social networking service, but we know for sure not all of them were created by real people. Based on documents filed by the company to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission this week, about 8.7 percent of Facebook accounts are either “duplicates, mis-classified, or undesirable.” This means that about 83 million accounts are either in violation of Facebook’s rules, spam bots, or probably created by real users but forgot the passwords.

To be specific, about 4.8 percent of Facebook’s total MAUs are duplicated accounts, or additional accounts created by users in addition to their main profiles. It may not sound like a big deal, but it is actually a violation of Facebook’s terms of service and it is working on ways to “detect and suppress such behavior.”

Also, 2.4 percent of accounts are considered mis-classified, such as using a Facebook Page–which are reserved for businesses, organizations, or politicians–as a main, personal Profile. Finally, 1.5 percent of MAUs in Facebook are undesirables, or those used for dubious purposes such as spamming.

Facebook reports that duplicate and false accounts are more prevalent in developing markets like Indonesia and Turkey, while incidents of such accounts are “meaningfully lower” in developed areas such as the United States and Australia.

Source: United States Securities and Exchange Commission, via PC Magazine

Photo credit: Annette Shaff /
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