Wondering just who everyone is on Facebook? Well, wonder about 83 million fewer of them. Via Mashable, Facebook revealed in their 10-Q that 4.8 percent of the site's worldwide monthly active user accounts are "duplicate," meaning "an account that a user maintains in addition to his or her principal account." The rest are deemed "false" and fall under two headings — 1.5 percent are "undesirable," used for terms of service violating activities like spamming, and 2.4 percent are "user-misclassified" meaning an account wherein "users have created personal profiles for a business, organization, or non-human entity such as a pet." No matter how cute it is, little Fido's profile might be deceiving people! So all told, 8.7 percent of Facebook's users do not correspond to actual people. But considering it has 955 million users, that adds up fast.
Facebook explains they believe that the number of "duplicate or false" accounts is "meaningfully lower in developed markets such as the United States or Australia and higher in developing markets such as Indonesia and Turkey." They note too that their numbers might not be totally accurate.
So how does this stack up to, say, Twitter? That company, as we have noted, has been active against their spam-bots. Looking into a Semiocast report that Twitter had reached 500 million users, Ingrid Lunden at TechCrunch noted on Tuesday:
Paul Guyot, the founder of Semiocast, says its analysis indicate that on average, less than one-third, 27%, of Twitter’s user base is active — in other words, only around 170 million people, and possibly less at the moment.
Guyot also points out that the 500 million-account landmark it announced yesterday does not include spambots. “Twitter is massively deleting spam user accounts,” he noted. “Our figures do not include these deleted accounts.”
As Mashable notes, the total number of "fake" accounts on Facebook is higher than in a report from the company earlier this year, which estimated that number at 5 to 6 percent.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.