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83 Million Users of Facebook Are Fake

It has been a bad start for Facebook after the giant social network began trading publicly. Critics gave unflattering comments about the stock market debut of the company in May. Now Facebook is again under fire for yet another issue, that about over 83 million profiles in the site are deemed fake. Millions of these profiles were created by users for their pets and for other purposes.

The report came to light after Facebook’s first quarterly report to US financial regulators. The 83-million figure comprises about 8.7% of the site’s total 955 million users. The company pointed out three categories that fall under these “fake” profiles. Facebook disclosed that the first and biggest category, which comprises about  4.8% of the total number of users, are duplicate accounts. Facebook defined duplicate as an account that a user maintains in addition to his or her main account.

Another category is called “user-misclassified” which takes up about 2.4% or almost 23 million. This category , according to Facebook, are for accounts created by users for personal their business, non-human entity like pet, or organization.

The other category is labeled “undesirable”, which Facebook defines as accounts breaching the company’s terms and conditions. These accounts were created to send content to other Facebook users or spam messages. This category has over 14 million accounts.

Facebook revealed last March that an estimated 5% or 6% of the number of users were fake or duplicate, which put the number between 42 million and 50 million. This week’s admission come at an especially difficult time for Facebook as it tries to rally from a disastrous stock market crisis. The company is still trying to convince shareholders that it can translate the site’s rapid growth in terms of user base to 1 billion into a sustainable and profitable business.

Third party companies doing business with Facebook had been at the forefront of showing the “real picture” of the true number of users. This week, Limited Run, also known before as Limited Processing, disclosed a report in its own Facebook fan page showing that its own analytic software discovered that 80% of clicks on ads in their Facebook page came from fake users or bots.

Facebook’s shares were offered during the launch on the stock market at $38. After a couple of months the price has fallen to over half at $20. In its first quarterly report, Facebook  said that the site has $1.18 billion in revenue and a loss of $157 million between April to June.

Analysts attributed the loss to Facebook’s slow transition to adopt to an increasingly mobile world. Although the quarterly report was ahead of Wall Street expectations, the plummeting share price is mainly due to inept reaction of the social networking site to tap mobile advertising.  There are about 543 million mobile users running Facebook apps in their devices.