NYT: Facebook Keeps Changing Its ‘Fake Accounts’ Numbers

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

The New York Times published an article, Wednesday, raising questions over the wildly different estimates of fake users on the Facebook platform published by Mark Zuckerberg’s company.

In the article titled, “Does Facebook Really Know How Many Fake Accounts It Has?” reporter Jack Nicas declared, “Facebook sells advertisers on its access to real people — 2.32 billion of them, a network that exceeds the populations of North America, South America and Africa combined. But do that many people really use Facebook?”

“While the company discloses its estimates of fake accounts, its figures have fluctuated and are confusing. Even Facebook admits its understanding of the numbers is tenuous,” Nicas explained. “What the table shows is that Facebook cut its estimate of fake accounts significantly in 2016. A year later, it more than quadrupled the estimate. And on Wednesday, in small print at the bottom of a slide about earnings, Facebook increased the estimate by 36 percent, to 116 million. So what’s going on?”

Nicas reported that “Facebook’s new numbers added up to more than 2.8 billion fake accounts taken down in the 12 months that ended Sept. 30, or about 7.7 million a day,” however the social network “had previously reported that about 3 percent to 4 percent of its active users were fake.”

“According to the new figures, the accounts taken down each quarter were equivalent to 25 percent to 35 percent of its active users (though those accounts were not counted in Facebook’s active-user tallies because they had been removed),” he proclaimed.

In an October securities filing, Facebook reportedly admitted, “Duplicate and false accounts are very difficult to measure at our scale,” and added that the actual number of fake users “may vary significantly from our estimates.”

You can read the full report at the New York Times.

Last week, a report claimed as many as half of Facebook’s users could be fake, and alleged Facebook has “lost control of its own product.”

Charlie Nash is a reporter for Breitbart Tech. You can follow him on Twitter @MrNashington, or like his page at Facebook.


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