Shared from Mashable
Amid the distraction of Facebook’s blockbuster earnings this week, the company quietly admitted to hosting more phony accounts than previously revealed.
The social network upped its estimate of the portion of fake accounts from 2 to 3 percent and the number of duplicates from 6 to 10 percent, Business Insider first reported.
That means that as many as 270 million of the platform’s 2.1-billion-strong user base could be fraudulent — a population verging on the size of the United States.
Facebook said the change was due to better tools for tracking illegitimate activity rather than a sudden spike in fishy sign-ups.
Unlike Twitter’s anything-goes attitude, Facebook is famously strict about verifying the real-life identity of each of its users. In some cases, it even goes so far as to demand official documentation.
Yet fake accounts have still managed to proliferate on the platform — some because of innocent user mistakes and others created to spread spam or operate as part of shady networks of bots.
The revelation comes after Congress grilled Facebook and other tech companies this week on their role in spreading Russian-affiliated propaganda during the presidential election. The proceedings focused on the work of a Kremlin-linked “troll farm” called the Internet Research Agency, which used Facebook pages to disseminate tens of thousands of posts to as many as 126 million Americans.
Facebook has previously said that the actors behind pages that spread fake news or misinformation have used fake accounts to juice their interaction numbers and thus game the company’s algorithm.
Each of these efforts were part of a larger campaign Facebook embarked on after the U.S. presidential election to rid the platform of fake news, misinformation, and hoaxes of any kind.
Original Article and Images from Mashable