India, Turkey lead list of false and duplicate Facebook accounts

India, Turkey lead list of false and duplicate Facebook accounts
An estimated 143.3 million accounts on the popular social networking site Facebook may be false or duplicate, with a major chunk of them coming from developing markets like India and Turkey.

Facebook, which boasts of 1.19 billion accounts globally, in a US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing said it estimates up to 7.9 per cent accounts being duplicate, and up to 2.1 percent and up to 1.2 percent accounts being user-misclassified and un-desirable, respectively.

"We believe the percentage of accounts that are duplicate or false is meaningfully lower in developed markets such as the US or the UK and higher in developing markets such as India and Turkey," Facebook said Friday in an SEC filing.

The social networking giant said its monthly active users (MAUs) stood at 1.19 billion by September 30, 2013.

MAUs are registered Facebook users who log in and visit the site through the website or a mobile device or take an action to share content or activity with Facebook friends or connections via a third-party website that is integrated with Facebook in the last 30 days as of the date of measurement.

The filing further said: "We estimate, for example, that duplicate accounts may have represented between approximately 4.3-7.9 percent of our worldwide MAUs during the nine months ended September 30, 2013."

Duplicate account is one which a user maintains in addition to his or her principal account, it added.

"We also seek to identify false accounts, which we divide into two categories -- user-misclassified accounts and undesirable accounts.

"During the nine months ended September 30, 2013, for example, we estimate user-misclassified accounts may have represented between approximately 0.8-2.1 percent of our worldwide MAUs and undesirable accounts may have represented between approximately 0.4-1.2 per cent of our worldwide MAUs," the filing said.

User-misclassified accounts is where users create personal profiles for a business, organisation or non-human entity such as a pet (such entities are permitted on Facebook) using a Page rather than a personal profile under its terms of service, it added.

Undesirable accounts, which represent user profiles that Facebook determines are intended to be used for purposes that violate its terms of service like spamming, the filing added.

However, the social networking major's user base swelled by 18 per cent to 1.19 billion for the third quarter ended September 30, 2013 aided by growth in emerging markets like India and Brazil.

Facebook reported a 60 per cent rise in its consolidated revenues at USD 2.02 billion for the quarter ended September 30, 2013 from USD 1.26 billion in the year-ago period helped by increasing mobile advertising revenue.

The California-headquartered firm posted a consolidated net income of USD 425 million against a net loss of USD 59 million during the reviewed quarter.

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