8.7 Percent of Facebook Profiles Are Fake; 14 Million Used to Spread Spam

Earlier this week, the social media giant Facebook filed new documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), from which some interesting facts were revealed.

Facebook, with currently having over 955 million users, is one of the major hub for spammers to spread spam messages including bogus links, online survey sites, and hoax messages. Users, unaware of the end results after clicking scam links, fall for the tricks and end up sharing their account details with the scammer.


According to the filed document, nearly 14 million (out of the 955 million) Facebook accounts are used to spread scam and spam messages across the network. And Facebook is having a difficult time in identifying these fake Facebook profiles and disable them.

Here is the breakdown from the quarterly filing:

  • 4.8 percent accounts on Facebook are marked as “duplicate” where users have more than one account.
  • 1.5 percent accounts are “undesirable.” All the spam accounts fall under this category.
  • 2.4 percent of accounts are misclassified accounts, where users either create personal accounts for companies, organizations, a pet, or other non-human being.
  • Totally 8.7 percent of accounts on Facebook are fake, which accounts up to near 83 million accounts.
  • Earlier before the IPO filing, Facebook said that nearly 5-6 percent of Facebook accounts were bogus.

With the increasing number of bogus accounts on Facebook, the social media giant says that it is trying its best to bring down that number. In the document, Facebook states, “We are continually seeking to improve our ability to identify duplicate or false accounts and estimate the total number of such accounts, and such estimates may be affected by improvements or changes in our methodology.”

With this, there have been a lot of concerns about fake advertisement clicks on Facebook, and advertisers are real fumed up for this reason. According to a firm Limited Press, which opted Facebook’s advertisements alleged that based on its own custom tracking tool, it analyzed that nearly 80 percent of the clicks generated were from fake Facebook accounts. Advertisers have also assumed that most of the ad clicks were coming from bots, which is really disappointing news for Facebook.

According to some latest reports, Facebook saw a drop by 0.7 percent from its U.S. user base in the last three months, and nearly 1.7 percent in the last six months. The main reason for this is only because of the increase in spam messages on the users’ news feed. Additionally, the report also says that Hong Kong had a 1.7% drop in users and Singapore had a 1.1% drop.

Second Quarter 2012 Operational Highlights:

  • Monthly active users (MAUs) were 955 million as of June 30, 2012, an increase of 29% year-over-year.
  • Daily active users (DAUs) were 552 million on average for June 2012, an increase of 32% year-over-year.
  • Mobile MAUs were 543 million as of June 30, 2012, an increase of 67% year-over-year

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Joel Fernandes

Joel Fernandes (G+) is a tech enthusiast and a social media blogger. During his leisure time, he enjoys taking photographs, and photography is one of his most loved hobbies. You can find some of his photos on Flickr. He does a little of web coding, and maintains a tech blog of his own - Techo Latte. Joel is currently pursuing his Masters in Computer Application from Bangalore, India. You can get in touch with him on Twitter - @joelfernandes, or visit his Facebook Profile for more information.