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Facebook Has A Major Problem With Fake Accounts

By November 16, 2017June 21st, 2022Technology News

Facebook has been in hot water with evidence mounting that hordes of fake accounts were used to spread misinformation about the recent presidential election.

In addition to sparking congressional hearings, it also prompted Facebook and the other major social media companies to do a deep dive into their own active accounts and get a better sense of just how large and pervasive the problem was.

According to Facebook’s most recent quarterly earnings report, the problem turned out to be a fair bit larger than was first imagined. The company changed their methodology for tracking and identifying fake accounts, which has led to the grim discovery that some 13 percent of the company’s accounts are duplicates, a figure that doesn’t take into account the more than 60 million outright bogus accounts.

According to Facebook’s founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, from in the earnings report: “We’re serious about preventing abuse on our platforms. We’re investing so much in security that it will impact our profitability. Protecting our community is more important than maximizing our profits.”

The problem is going to wind up costing Facebook in a number of ways. First and most obvious, of course, is the unwanted attention caused by the congressional hearings themselves, and the loss of trust it creates in the platform.

More immediately, there’s also the factor addressed directly by Zuckerberg in his statement. The company is spending a ton of money on improving security and rooting out and shutting down duplicate and fake accounts. As he indicated, it’s having an impact on their profitability.

It’s also impacting the company’s ability to generate ad revenue, which, of course, is based on the number of actual users the company can claim are viewing ads. With more than a quarter of a billion duplicate and fake accounts in the system, the network is simply less attractive to advertisers.

There are no simple solutions here, but kudos to Facebook for making significant investments to rein the problem in.

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.