Aug. 2, 2012 at 12:06 PM ET
People with multiple Facebook accounts, profiles for pets, “zombie blondes.” These are a few examples of the 83.09 millionfake users Facebook revealed this week as part of the social network's first public quarterly earnings report.
These fake accounts make up 8.7 percent of Facebooks 955 million monthlyactive users, “a huge jump, both in raw numbers and as a percentage from Facebook’s last estimate,” notes CNet’sEmil Protlanski. “Back in March,Facebook said 5to 6 percent of accounts are false or duplicate. At the time, this meant between42.25 million and 50.70 million users.”
The jump in numbers doesn't denote a jump in false accounts, but Facebook's increased transparency in tracking, as is required of a public company, Protlanski explains. "Before it only listed duplicate and false users, and now Facebook has broken down the latter number further: duplicate accounts," he writes.
Facebook further breaks down its fake users like this:
As anyone who's ever created a Facebook profile in the guise of the beloved family dog, cat or parrot (only to have it deleted) can tell you -- Facebook is pretty active in detecting and deactivating accounts that violate its terms of service. In regards to such users, Facebook states in its public filing, "We are continually seeking to improve our ability to identify duplicate or false accounts and estimate the total number of such accounts, and such estimates may be affected by improvements or changes in our methodology."