83 million fake Facebook friends put you at risk

Facebook claims to disable false accounts and wipe out all information associated with it

How many of your Facebook friends are fake?

We don’t mean that in an existential way leading in to the argument about having “friends on Facebook” as against having “real friends".

Instead, you need to beware of friend requests from unknown people precisely because there are 83.09 million fake Facebook accounts.

The company in its latest regulatory filing said that almost 8.7 per cent of its 955 million monthly active users worldwide are actually duplicate or false accounts.

While Facebook does not encourage the creation of a fake profile, creating one is no big deal and just requires an alternate email id.

According to reports, Facebook has divided the fake accounts into categories such as duplicate 4.8% (45.8 million), misclassified (22.9 million) and undesirable (14.3 million) accounts.

Undesirable accounts are ones clearly created for spamming.

"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," the company said in the filing.

According to Facebook it disables false accounts and wipes all information associated with it.

One user wrote in to this website claiming: “I have had a fake Facebook account for the last two years. I first created a fake Gmail.

“Then I used my Gmail to create a Facebook profile. I have had about 300 plus friends on my fake Facebook id and most of them are girls.

“In fact I also know that many of the profiles whom I have added as friends are also fake,” says the reader.

“While deactivating my account I clearly mentioned that I was doing so because I already had another account.

“However Facebook informed me than that I could log back into my account whenever I wanted to on a later date,” he added.

According to him logging back into the account last week was very easy. “A message on the profile page only said, your account has been reactivated, but it may take a few hours for your account to be fully restored,” he claimed.