Facebook Battling Fake Users

Image: Duncan Hull, Flickr

Hi there!

I hope you had a great Easter weekend!

Did you know Facebook reportedly has around 170 million fake users?

Oftentimes, these fake profiles are created by individuals who sell hundreds, if not thousands, of “fans” to page owners who want to boost their page “likes”.

A handful of fake fans can be purchased for as little as $5, making it tempting for page owners to take this shortcut.

This is a big DON’T in social media land; there are tools which can audit your followers/fans and see how many of them are fake.

Large amounts of fake fans can indicate you’ve purchased them, which can greatly hurt your reputation in the industry since you’ll be known for “faking” your audience.

Not to mention, you won’t be reaping any business benefits from your social media channels if your followers aren’t real individuals.

Real, quality fans with whom a brand builds genuine relationships with is always the goal.

To deal with this large amount of fake profiles, Facebook recently began a purge of all fake fans from business pages a few weeks ago.

If you've seen a recent dip in your Facebook fans, this is likely why.

Interestingly, this purge will only deal with current fake accounts; it does not prevent future fake accounts from being created.

These fake accounts take advantage of the fact that it’s easy to create a new Facebook profile.

If Facebook makes it harder to create new profiles in order to block these fake accounts from being started, they begin to hurt real users who are also trying to start Facebook profiles.

If the number of real users joining Facebook begins to slow down, Facebook’s growth will also decrease, creating a competitive disadvantage for the platform.

Facebook, of course, doesn’t want that.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out, and if Facebook finds another solution in the future.

Until next time,