Earlier this year, in its Q2 2012 earnings report, Facebookdisclosed that 4.8 percent of its accounts were either "duplicate" accounts (meaning that one person was operating more than one profile) or being used for nefarious purposes that violate Facebook's rules.
In Q3, however, Facebook didn't give an update on its efforts to drive down the rate of fake accounts — and the fake "Likes" that they seem to generate. Facebook's war against fakes is a work in progress, it seems. The company is due to report new numbers after Dec. 31.
The fake like/fake account issue has been a years long headache at Facebook. Even though the actual rate of questionable activity on Facebook is a small percentage of its entire traffic, it harms the social network's reputation.
Facebook has been sued over invalid clicks in the past. There are persistent reports of fake likes coming from the accounts of deceased friends. The system has had flaws in it in the past that have inflated the number of likes on a page. And in October, Facebook began a purge of fake accounts and the likes they generated.
So we asked Facebook's vp/global marketing solutions Carolyn Everson what Facebook is doing to kill fake accounts. It turns out that Facebook is hunting down accounts and users on an individual basis, rather than en masse via some sort of algorithm. And they're targeting the obvious villains first.