There were 83.09 million fake users in total, which Facebook classifies into three groups. The largest is made up of almost 46 million duplicate profiles, accounting for 4.8% of all accounts. The company defined that category as “an account that a user maintains in addition to his or her principal account”.
What were deemed “user-misclassified” profiles amounted to 2.4%, almost 23 million, where Facebook says “users have created personal profiles for a business, organisation or non-human entity such as a pet”.
Finally, “undesirable” profiles accounted for the remainder, about 14 million, which are deemed to be in breach of Facebook’s terms and conditions. The company said this typically means accounts that have been set up to send spam messages or content to other Facebook users.
As much as I deride Facebook, I find the characterization “fake,” except as applied to the “undesirable” accounts, a little strange.
If someone stumbles over a Facebook profile for Cuddles Cat and can’t realize that Cuddles didn’t actually create the profile itself, that someone has no business using a computer.
More to the point, if someone maintains two Facebook accounts, a public one for customers, publicity, and professional networking,* and a private just for family and friends, I would consider neither inherently “fake,” though it is certainly likely that such accounts may also be created with fraudulent intent.
Facebook, though, does consider them inherently fraudulent, I suspect because they pose an inconvenience to Facebook’s task of assembling, sorting, and selling your data to the highest bidder.
There is much less here than meets the eye.
*Facebook wants such accounts to be moved to “Facebook Pages,” which have different privacy settings and capabilities from “Profiles,” hence the label of “misclassified.”