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While Facebook is already under the lens for its role in Russia's meddling into the 2016 U.S. election, the social media giant has now admitted that there are up to 270 million accounts on the platform that are either fake or duplicate.
Facebook recently announced its third-quarter earning and along with it, the company disclosed that there are tens of millions of fake and duplicate accounts on the platform. Further, Facebook has stated that nearly two-to-three percent of its 2.1 billion monthly users in the third quarter of 2017 were "users-misclassified and undesirable accounts". The company also added that the number had gone up from the one percent it had estimated in July.
10 percent of its accounts were duplicates of real users, almost doubling its estimate of six percent from last quarter's results, suggesting that in total, up to 13 percent of its 2.1 billion monthly users (almost 270 million accounts) were "illegitimate".
However, the company's report has pointed out that improvements to the data used to identify fake accounts were behind the increase, rather than a sudden surge in fake users.
Meanwhile, this disclosure could lead to increased scrutiny of the social network in many countries. Facebook is already under scrutiny after it revealed that the Russian content on its platforms reached more users than reported earlier.
According to a report in The Washington Post in October, Facebook was planning to tell lawmakers that 126 million of its users might have seen content produced and circulated by Russian operatives -- many times more than the company had previously disclosed about their reach. Facebook had previously reported that nearly 10 million users had seen those ads.