83 Million Facebook Accounts Are Illegitimate
August 2, 2012

Millions Of Facebook Accounts Found To Be Illegitimate

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online

Facebook said in filings published this week that it has more than 83 million illegitimate accounts on its social network.

Of the 955 million active accounts, Facebook wrote in its 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities Exchange and Commission that 8.7 percent of them are not legitimate profile pages.

The undesirable accounts included fake names intended to be used for purposes that violate the terms of services, such as spamming.

Facebook said that the "false" accounts are divided into two categories: misclassified accounts, and undesirable accounts.

The misclassified accounts consist of profiles for a business, organization, or non-human entity like a person's pet.

The company said that 4.8 percent of its user accounts are actually just duplicate profiles, while 2.4 percent were profiles for businesses or pets. Another 1.5 percent of users were described as "undesirable" by the social network.

The social network did go on to say that its figures were merely estimates of how many accounts were fake. It did not use an algorithm to look through its users, but used "reviewers" to look for suspicious names and "inauthentic" behavior on the site.

The latest filing has stirred of plenty of speculation about the company's future, and left some to question whether it will be able to bring on revenue to its growing mobile user base.

All Things Digital reported that no less than three key executives at Facebook have quit over the past few days.

Facebook made a comment in the 10-Q filing that the "loss of one or more of our key personnel, or our failure to attract and retain other highly qualified personnel in the future, could harm our business."

Facebook's director of platform partnerships, Ethan Beard, left the company, along with platform marketing director, Katie Mitic, and mobile platform marketing manager, Jonathan Matus, according to the All Things Digital report.

The social network joined the group of publicly traded companies earlier this year, but entered into with less than a splash. Facebook shares closed down 4 percent on Wall Street yesterday to $20.90, which is nearly $18 a share less than its IPO debut price tag. The company has struggled to reach what its been valued at.

Adding to the bad news, reports yesterday, including one at redOrbit, suggests Facebook's shift to mobile traffic could actually hurt the company.

The social network has seen a 23 percent increase in mobile traffic from March to June, according to the filing. Although this increase may not seem like much, its mobile advertising is lacking in comparison to its desktop ads.

The Facebook desktop site shows seven ads per page, while the mobile versions accessed through tablets and smartphones only show an occasional Sponsored Story ad.

Facebook said in the 10-Q that 18.7 percent of its 543 million monthly mobile users do not even visit the desktop site.