In the last few months, Facebook has taken extra steps to remove fraudulent pages, profiles, and “likes” from its network. Since August, a new automated system has been weeding out fake likes, and in October the company announced partnerships with antivirus firms, and now offers its users the ability to download software that protects against malware.
What’s the Big Idea?
Fakery on Facebook comes in many forms, from the benign — college students tweaking their names to put some distance between their party pictures and future employers’ eyes — to the malicious. Culling fakes is vital if, as has been reported, the company plans to create a social search engine that will run off its users’ information. Also, advertisers want to make sure they’re pitching to real people, and Facebook’s reputation is built on its ability to bring together real people and data. In response to an inquiry by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Facebook estimated that just under 9 percent of its users — 83 million — were considered “duplicates, false, or ‘undesirable’.”