Facebook: 83 million IMPOSTERS stalk our network

Three 'key' staffers slip out as shares continue to tumble


Facebook is still racking up false accounts even as it continues to try and flush out imposters on the dominant social network, which is seeing its value close to being halved on Wall Street.

The Mark Zuckerberg-run company disclosed during its first public quarterly earnings report last week that it now has 955 million monthly users actively posting on the site, of which 543 million people were accessing Facebook via mobile devices.

But, tucked away in a 10-Q filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the network has revealed that 83 million Facebook accounts were duplicates or fakes.

It obviously didn't provide that number quite so succinctly, however, instead preferring to break down the figures as follows:

We estimate that 'duplicate' accounts (an account that a user maintains in addition to his or her principal account) may have represented approximately 4.8 per cent of our worldwide MAUs [monthly active users] as of June 30, 2012.

We also seek to identify 'false' accounts, which we divide into two categories: (1) user-misclassified accounts, where users have created personal profiles for a business, organisation, or non-human entity such as a pet (such entities are permitted on Facebook using a Page rather than a personal profile under our terms of service); and (2) undesirable accounts, which represent user profiles that we determine are intended to be used for purposes that violate our terms of service, such as spamming.

As of June 30, 2012, we estimate user-misclassified accounts may have represented approximately 2.4 per cent of our worldwide MAUs and undesirable accounts may have represented approximately 1.5 per cent of our worldwide MAUs. We believe the percentage of accounts that are duplicate or false is meaningfully lower in developed markets such as the United States or Australia and higher in developing markets such as Indonesia and Turkey.

Facebook went on to note that its figures were merely estimates of how many accounts were fake. It apparently doesn't use an algorithm to sift through its users in search of dodgy accounts. Instead it creepily has "reviewers" looking for suspicious names and "inauthentic" behaviour on the site.

Meanwhile, in the same 10-Q filing, Facebook made a timely comment by stating 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."

Rushing for the exits

All Things Digital reported overnight that no less than three key execs have quit Facebook over the last few days.

The company's director of platform partnerships, Ethan Beard, platform marketing director, Katie Mitic, and mobile platform marketing manager, Jonathan Matus, all handed in their resignations to Zuck.

Facebook shares closed down 4 per cent on Wall Street on Wednesday to $20.9 - which, fact fans, means that the network's value has been nearly halved since its Nasdaq debut in May with its $104bn price tag, or $38 a share IPO. ®

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