Facebook or Fakebook? In the last quarter of 2020 the US social media giant disabled 1.3-billion fake accounts — a tally equal to almost half its real monthly active users. User accounts are the basis for advertising sales that make up almost all of Facebook’s revenues. If a percentage of accounts are fake, advertisers should be demanding a discount.

For the past two years, Facebook has been removing at least 1-billion fake accounts each quarter, most as soon as they are created, it claims. Despite increasing its headcount by 30% in 2020, and claiming “the most advanced systems in the world” to address fake accounts that spread misinformation, the problem has lingered. ..

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now