Facebook has revealed that it has some 83 million fake accounts on its site, almost 10 per cent of its user base, in a new filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The 10-Q filing reveals that the firm is aware of a large portion of accounts plaguing the site that shouldn't be there, with 4.8 per cent of users owning "duplicate accounts", which is not allowed under the terms and conditions of the service.
Beyond that, there are around 2.4 per cent of "user-misclassified accounts", where users have created "personal profiles for a business, organisation, or non-human entity such as a pet", which are meant to be hosted under its Pages section.
Lastly, some 1.5 per cent of users, around 10 million accounts, are "undesirable", which refers to user profiles that "are intended to be used for purposes that violate our terms of service, such as spamming", the firm explains in the filing.
Based on the last reported user base of 901 million, there are around 83 million fake accounts in total on the site.
Whether this has any significant impact on brands running ads on Facebook is not clear. However, some advertisers may be affected if they believe their ads are being targeted to a larger audience than they really are.
The revelations are yet more bad news for the firm, as it attempts to improve advertising revenues and grow its share price after a disappointing flotation on the stock market in May.
The report comes a week after the firm posted its first public earnings, which revealed a loss of $157m for the quarter, sending its share price plummeting by almost 10 per cent to its lowest price since it hit the market in May.
The firm's share price is now teetering on the edge of the $20 mark, almost half its flotation value of $38.
This article was originally published on V3.
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Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal.
March 19, 2014