Facebook boasts about having 845 million monthly active users and further 425 million monthly active mobile users as of December 31, 2011. It revealed these figures while the social network filed for its $5 billion initial public offering (IPO). But it turns out that between 42.25 million and 50.70 million of these accounts on Facebook are actually fake according to ZDNet. This is the first time that Facebook has revealed this number admitting that the social network might really not enjoy all real people.
This makes up for around 5%-6% accounts which are fake. Facebook says that it bans around 20,000 accounts daily which belong to underage children. But it does not take the same measure for those accounts which are fake or spread spams. Facebook has revealed the number of fake accounts, but did not reveal what it is actually doing to stop them and how many of these does it shut down. Facebook is aware of the fact that there might users who have more than one Facebook account all working at the same time against its terms of service policy.
The only way it detects fake accounts is through an internal review of limited samples and in that it determines which accounts appear to have fake user names or show behavior which appears to be “inauthentic”. Hence, Facebook also admits the number of fake accounts might actually be more than just 5%-6%. Also the active number of users that Facebook says it has might actually not be accessing Facebook.com, but it simply means that a user is using his or her Facebook account somewhere. This especially goes for when you are not on the site of Facebook, but you are sharing from other websites different posts while just being singed in and leaving comments as a Facebook user. This is also considered to be an active social networking by Facebook, which is why it considers and counts such users as active Facebook monthly users.
Having fake Facebook accounts by users also show that there might be people who are using Facebook with more than one identity for whatever reasons or it might be that they are simply using a fake identity only for an account, instead of using their real name. When it comes to pseudonyms, it is not that bad and in some ways, might not be considered to fake since a real person behind it does exist. But when it comes to using Facebook with different fake accounts at the same time and not just one, such multiple accounts can surely be taken as fake ones. However, Facebook still maintains that such fake accounts have no effect on their monthly active user base. Facebook cares about its reputations and does not want to disappoint advertisers and developers, or investors making them think that Facebook has large number of fake users.