Holiday Closing: PRSA’s offices to close Thursday and Friday. Details.
Your Public Relations and Communications Community

In bid to preserve its credibility and profits, Facebook goes after fakes


November 13, 2012

For a medium meant to inform, the Internet often misleads — with phony followers and rumors on Twitter, false reviews on consumer websites, and fakery on Facebook, to name just a few examples. As The New York Times reports, shams are an especially acute problem on Facebook, the world’s largest social network, because they undermine its basic premise. The company assures its users that “Facebook is a community where people use their real identities.”

Advertisers want real people they can sell to, so fraudulent “likes” threaten their trust in Facebook — and by extension, the site’s ability to make money from those advertisers. The problem is that false profiles are easy to create — hundreds can pop up simultaneously, sometimes with the help of robots, in a bid to spread malware. Fake Facebook friends and “likes” are sold online to users seeking to enhance their image, and phony coupons trick people into revealing their personal information.

Last June, Facebook reportedly said that of its 855 million active users, 8.7 percent, or 83 million, were duplicates, false or being used to spread spam. The company says it has recently increased its efforts to cull fakes from the site. As the Times reports, Facebook’s new aggressiveness toward fake “likes” became noticeable in September, when brand pages started seeing noticeable dips in their fan numbers. — Greg Beaubien



Comments

No comments have been submitted yet.

Post a Comment

Editor’s Note: Please limit your comments to the specific post. We reserve the right to omit any response that is not related to the article or that may be considered objectionable.

Name:
Email:
Comment:
Validation:

To help us ensure that you are a real human, please type the total number of circles that appear in the following images in the box below.

(image of seven circles) + (image of seven circles) =

 

Online PR Training: FREE With PRSA Membership

Broaden your skill set with access to an extensive library of live and on-demand professional development webinars — one of PRSA's premier member benefits.