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Social Media Giant Facebook Rejects ‘False’ Claim That Half of its Accounts are Fake

However, Facebook's most recent reporting shows otherwise

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Facebook, data, vietnam
This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA
Facebook has as termed “unequivocally false” a report that claims the social networking platform hosts one billion fake accounts, a media report said.
According to a Daily Mail report, a former classmate of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed that the social media giant hosts one billion fake accounts on its platform, or 50 per cent of its total users worldwide.
In a 70-page report titled “Reality Check”, Aaron Greenspan, who attended the Harvard University with Zuckerberg from 2002 to 2004, claimed that Facebook has been inflating its global user count since 2004.
He also alleged that he was the founder of the original Facebook and was paid an undisclosed settlement from Facebook in 2009 over his claims.
“Facebook has been lying to the public about the scale of its problem with fake accounts, which likely exceed 50 per cent of its network,” Greenspan said in the report.
Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay
“Its official metrics — many of which it has stopped reporting quarterly — are self-contradictory and even farcical.”
However, Facebook has denied the findings.
“This is unequivocally wrong and responsible reporting means reporting facts, even if it’s about fake accounts,” a Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying to the Daily Mail.
Greenspan cited a rise in the number of duplicate and user-misclassified and undesirable accounts on Facebook which the company began reporting several years ago in its quarterly earnings results.
In the second quarter of 2017, Facebook reported that duplicate accounts or “an account that a user maintains in addition to his or her principal account”, comprised six per cent of its global monthly active users (MAUs).
Facebook, data,photos
A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA
“User-misclassified and undesirable” accounts, which are those made for spamming or for a non-human entity such as a pet, made up one per cent of worldwide MAUs in the quarter.
Graphs from Facebook’s transparency portal show that fake accounts it took action against comprised 32.6 per cent of users in the last quarter of 2017. In the third quarter of 2018, that number rose to 33.2 per cent of monthly active users.
However, Facebook’s most recent reporting shows otherwise.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company estimates that between three to four per cent of accounts on the website are fake, which is a significantly lower percentage than Greenspan’s estimated 50 per cent, the report stated. (IANS)

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Social Networking Giant Facebook Stored Users’ Passwords in ‘Readable’ Form

Facebook Lite is a version of Facebook, predominantly used by people in regions with lower connectivity

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Facebook, data,photos
A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

Facebook on Thursday said it has fixed a security issue wherein millions of its users’ passwords were stored in plain text and “readable” format for years and according to reports, were searchable by thousands of its employees.

The report by KrebsOnSecurity claimed on Thursday around 200-600 million Facebook users may have had their account passwords stored in plain text and searchable by over 20,000 Facebook employees.

In a blog post later, Facebook said as part of a routine security review in January, it found that some user passwords were being stored in a readable format within our internal data storage systems.

“This caught our attention because our login systems are designed to mask passwords using techniques that make them unreadable.

“We have fixed these issues and as a precaution will be notifying everyone whose passwords we found stored this way,” wrote Pedro Canahuati, VP Engineering, Security and Privacy at Facebook.

The company, however, said these passwords were never visible to anyone outside of Facebook.

Facebook, data, photos, vietnam
A smartphone user displays a Facebook newsfeed .VOA

“We have found no evidence to date that anyone internally abused or improperly accessed them. We estimate that we will notify this to hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite users, tens of millions of other Facebook users, and tens of thousands of Instagram users.

Facebook Lite is a version of Facebook, predominantly used by people in regions with lower connectivity.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we are telling people so that they can change passwords if they choose,” Facebook tweeted.

Also Read- EU Fines Google $1.7 bn for Unfair Online Ad Rules

Earlier this month, Facebook came under scrutiny for using phone numbers provided for security reasons — like two-factor authentication (2FA) — for things like advertising and making users searchable by their phone numbers across its different platforms.

“Consider enabling a security key or two-factor authentication to protect your Facebook account using codes from a third party authentication app. When you log in with your password, we will ask for a security code or to tap your security key to verify that it is you,” Facebook advised. (IANS)