Facebook: 8.7 percent are fake users


A fake Facebook account.

Last week, during its first quarterly earnings report as a public company, Facebook revealed it had 955 million monthly active users and 543 million monthly active mobile users. In the social-networking giant’s 10-Q filing published last night, the company disclosed that nearly 20 percent of the latter number, 102 million users, accessed the social network in June solely from their mobile device.

So, how many of these accounts are fake? Facebook estimates 8.7 percent, or 83.09 million accounts.

That’s a huge jump, both in raw numbers and as a percentage, from Facebook’s last estimate. Back in March, Facebook said 5 to 6 percent of accounts are false or duplicate. At the time, this meant between 42.25 million and 50.70 million users.

Does this mean that a huge amount of fake accounts were created over the last five months? Not really: Facebook is simply being more transparent when it comes to specifying which false accounts it is tracking. Before it only listed duplicate and false users, and now Facebook has broken down the latter number further: duplicate accounts (4.8 percent), user-misclassified accounts (2.4 percent), and undesirable accounts (1.5 percent).

Here are the official details. First, the usual legalese warning:

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