The state of impersonations and fake profiles in the Facebook landscape: Is it being tolerated?

profile impersonations fake accounts Facebook Fraud Prevention social media

Among several other criticisms that the Facebook platform faces each day, one of the most significant issues is how fake accounts and profile impersonations have gone rogue in the platform. 

Reports say that billions of fake accounts have already been purged by Facebook in the past years, and yet, a vast number still emerges day by day. It is impossible to measure how many of these fake accounts still exist in the present time; however, the social media platform said that it has been working with leaders worldwide to mitigate the problem. 

 

According to Facebook, they have been taking down fake accounts within minutes of being created. They also added that their systems flag about 99.8% of created fake accounts on their own even before they are reported. 

 

The number of fake account creations has surged for the past years due to automated attacks performed by threat actors wherein volumes of fake accounts are created simultaneously, as revealed by Facebook. Therefore, with these several accounts being created at once, many of them have made it past their system detection. 

 

Impersonations against military service members 

Even military officials have not been spared with profile impersonations on Facebook. Several fake accounts of high-ranking officers have emerged on the platform, using their biographical details and photos acquired from the internet to scam victims. 

According to an article posted by the US Department of Defense, scammers prefer to impersonate military officials with high ranks to appear legitimate and perform a fraud on target victims such as promising enormous amounts of money, but in exchange, the victims must send a specific amount first to be able for the said transaction to succeed.

US DoD had also included recommendations on how to protect people from being scammed online by fake accounts of military officials, or any personalities for that matter. It includes verifying if the person you communicate with is a real account – often with a blue checkmark badge for public figures.

 

Facebook is fully cognizant of the fake account issue on its platform 

A Facebook critic has reported that about half of the social media platform’s users are fake. Moreover, the critic added that the platform has no accurate system to determine how serious the fake account creations and profile impersonations inflict on the entire landscape. 

The social media giant has admitted these issues. Understanding the numbers, logic, and reasons linked to fake accounts and profile impersonations created each day is a vague problem to them. 

Nevertheless, while they admit to being fully aware of the problem, Facebook expressed that they do not tolerate it and intend to immediately locate and remove as many fake accounts and profile impersonations as possible and enhance their metrics in assessing these problems. 

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