How Facebook is under attack from account fakers
Growth in user numbers looks less impressive once adjusted for duplicate and fake accounts and the discrepancy highlights the company’s lack of transparency around the metrics
San Francisco — At first glance, Amy Dowd’s Facebook account appears perfectly normal. There is a smiling profile picture of a young woman surrounded by autumnal leaves and the date that she began a new job at Southeast Missouri State University. But look more closely and things begin to seem strange. Unlike most 29-year-olds, Amy has no friends, no interests and no photos. The only thing she has written is a gushing review of a US haulage company. “Fake account,” replied one user. They were right.
This Amy Dowd does not exist. Her account is a fake bought by Financial Times as part of an investigation into the millions of bogus accounts littering the social media network in spite of efforts to better verify users.