Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) to Weed out Fake Accounts

Social networking site Facebook Inc(NASDAQ:FB) is taking steps to weed out fake `Likes' on its platform by making changes to its software that can detect and remove them.

This is part of Facebook's attempts to identify and remove fake accounts that do not add anything to the company. It has previously admitted that there are millions of fake profiles and it has to do something about it.

These fake `likes' may be either due to a malware or accounts which have been hacked or `Likes' which have been purchased in a bulk form.

Fake accounts are a nightmare for social networking sites as it is sometimes impossible for the sites to identify such profiles. Closure of such accounts does not yield any tangible results as millions of others pop-up almost immediately.

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"A Like that doesn't come from someone truly interested in connecting with a Page benefits no one," says Facebook on its security blog.

"When a Page and fan connect on Facebook, we want to ensure that connection involves a real person interested in hearing from a specific Page and engaging with that brand’s content."

Earlier this year, BBC while conducting its investigations into the problems of fraudulent accounts, set up a fake bagels business and found that it got thousands of `Likes' on it, most of them originating from countries such as Philippines and Egypt.

Facebook said that the upgrade to its system can automatically detect fake accounts and such `Likes'. Though the number of such accounts may be small in terms of percentage, in actually numbers they will be high. However advertisers and marketers can be sure that they are getting authentic data from the company, after weeding out these accounts.

"Users will continue to connect to the Pages and Profiles they authentically want to subscribe to, and Pages will have a more accurate measurement of fan count and demographics," said Facebook.

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