Bot problem? Facebook estimates 8.7% of users are duplicate, miscategorized or spam accounts

Facebook says 8.7 percent of its monthly active user total might violate terms of service and be either duplicate, miscategorized or “undesirable” accounts meant for spamming, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In its quarterly report, Facebook provided updated numbers and new details about illegitimate accounts, which could represent about 83 million users. The company estimates 4.8 percent of its 955 million monthly active users are duplicate accounts. For instance, a user may use one account for connecting with work acquaintances and another for family and close friends.

Facebook says 2.4 percent of accounts are likely miscategorized accounts where users have created personal profiles for a business, organization or pet. These entities should be represented on Facebook with pages, not profiles, according to the social network’s terms of service.

Facebook also estimates that 1.5 percent of monthly active users are “undesirable accounts,” which are false accounts that are created for spamming or other purposes that violate terms. Earlier this week, a music startup claimed that 80 percent of clicks on its Facebook ad campaign came from bots. Facebook says it is investigating the claims.

According to Facebook’s quarterly report, the percentage of accounts that are duplicate or false is significantly lower in developed markets such as the United States or Australia but higher in developing markets such as Indonesia and Turkey. The company says it creates these estimates based on an internal review of a limited sample of accounts. Reviewers identify names that appear to be fake and other behavior that appears inauthentic.

In March, Facebook estimated 5 to 6 percent of its 845 million monthly active users could be false or duplicate accounts. At that time, the company did not offer estimates about what percentage of these accounts were duplicate, miscategorized or otherwise undesirable.

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4 Responses to “Bot problem? Facebook estimates 8.7% of users are duplicate, miscategorized or spam accounts”

  1. Il ritorno sull’investimento nei social media. says:

    [...] Facebook ammette che il 9% circa dei propri account non siano veri. E un articolo pubblicato dalla Cnn dice che 83 milioni di account su Facebook sono falso o duplicati. Secondi profili per avere più contatti, pagine personali con nomi di aziende, profili intestati a cani e gatti e a nomi di fantasia. In questi giorni in tanti pubblicano una loro “cartella clinica” di asserita verginità controllando se i profili Twitter siano seguiti da veri o finti followers. [...]

  2. We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #128 « Nate Crowder says:

    [...] accounts Have a Facebook account just for co-workers to see? Did you also set one up for your dog? Facebook has said that some 83 million profiles are duplicates, miscategorised or some other form of… in its recently released quarterly report. Facebook broke down the numbers by the types of account, [...]

  3. SoLoMo Show Ep 31: Starbucks Gets Square, Pinterest Alternatives, & Land Rover's Success with iAds | Social Media Explorer says:

    [...] Facebook Estimates 8.7% of Users Are Undesirable [...]

  4. Facebook Jail Again?! | Jason Nitzberg says:

    [...] too rapidly. They thought I was a spamming psychopath with a cute profile picture – there are plenty of them out there. But I really do know a lot of people. I had 997 friends last year when I said ‘see [...]

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