Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg likes to brag about the number of people who use his social media site. In fact it is clear as he talks big numbers about how many users the site boasts, that he thinks the world loves him for creating this technological wonder. He's wrong of course.
While people outside the USA, and those not concerned about their online privacy, are happy to use Facebook in reality Zuckerberg is probably the most disliked and mistrusted person in America apart from Hillary Clinton. And mistrust leads to scrutiny (as Hillary is finding out as her friends in Washington become ever more desperate to cover up her crimes and corruption. It is said that like Hillary, Zuckerberg has political ambitions. Given Facebook's record for playing fast and loose with users' private data it is unlikely voters would ever trust him with the nation's security or finances.
All is not going well with the plan for world domination however. Within Facebook's blockbuster third-quarter earnings figures, released on Wednesday along with some highly questionable statistics on revenue and profits, (we web pros all know how utterly risible click through rates on facebook adverts is,) are two important numbers the company quietly updated.
Those figures show that ten per cent of Facebook's 2.07 billion monthly users are now believed to be duplicate accounts, up from a previous estimate of six per cent. The social network's number of fake accounts, or accounts not associated with a real account, increased from 1% to 2-3%.
In its earnings release shared with investors, Facebook said the changes were due to "a new methodology for duplicate accounts that included improvements to the data signals we rely on."
Though a relatively small percentage of Facebook's claimed user base, the 10% figure means that there are now roughly 207 million duplicate accounts and as many as 60 million fake accounts on the network.'
This does not take account of the millions of zombie accounts on Facebook. A quick trawl through an alphabetical list of the top fifty accounts on my list of 300+ friends shows half have not been used for over a year. So how much of Facebook's alleged success is pure, unadulterated bullshit.
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Sceadugengan (shadow walker)
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