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Facebook: 76 million accounts were fake last year

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All those pet cat profiles add up: Facebook has reported that roughly 76 million of the 1.06 billion user accounts on its social network are bogus in some way or other.

The company identifies three types of accounts that don't represent actual users: duplicate accounts, misclassified accounts and undesirable accounts. Together, they added up to just over 7 percent of its worldwide monthly active users last year.

Facebook disclosed the figures in its annual report filed with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission on Friday.

Duplicate accounts, or those maintained by people in addition to their principal account, represent 53 million accounts, or 5 percent of the total, Facebook said.

Misclassified accounts, including those created for non-human entities such as pets or organizations, which instead should have Facebook Pages, accounted for almost 14 million accounts, or 1.3 percent of the total.

And undesirable accounts, such as those created by spammers, rounded out the tally with 9.5 million accounts, or 0.9 percent of users.

Facebook said it continually tries to improve its ability to identify these duplicate or false accounts. It also noted that there's a higher percentage of such accounts in developing countries such as Indonesia and Turkey, compared to developed markets like the U.S. and Australia.

Using a fake name is against Facebook's policies and it encourages users to report friends who use false names or set up fake accounts.



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