So If Half of Facebook Accounts Are Fake…

The social media space is absolutely ripe for a new entrant who demands arduous verification and constantly monitors its user base to eliminate cloned and fake accounts.

How many accounts on Facebook are fake? Recent estimates of half could be low. Here’s an experiment: open a Facebook account with a name that cannot possibly be anyone else’s real name, for example, Johns XQR Citizenry. Solicit a few real people to friend you, start posting something original every day and see what happens.

When you do a search, you find a half-dozen “Johns XQR Citizenry,” and every one of these cloned accounts is completely empty: no photo, no content. They were obviously set up for the sole purpose of cloning your identity to propagate spam to your friends list and then their friends’ lists.

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Eventually, your friends will inform you that “Johns XQR Citizenry” solicited them to friend him, even though they’re already friends with you. Congratulations, your Facebook identity has been cloned.

So you flag the clone accounts as per Facebook’s instructions, and the (automated) response comes back “the account you flagged does not violate our community standards.” So in other words, cloning identities on Facebook is just fine.

Next, you try to find some way to report the cloning to Facebook–there’s isn’t any way.

How difficult would it be for Facebook’s vaunted AI screens to identify cloned accounts? Same name, empty account, delete, block the IP. How hard is that?

Then you start getting friends’ requests from fake accounts: accounts with a photo of a supposedly legitimate person with a photo or two of a sunset…

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