Facebook has apparently started to purge fake Facebook accounts as part of the site integrity improvements it announced last month, following revelations that thousands of users registered on the site didn’t exist.
There are about 83 million fake Facebook accounts, according to Facebook’s own Securities and Exchange Commission filing in March this year. That’s 8.7 percent of Facebook registrations, and the social network has dedicated teams that are constantly monitoring and removing these false accounts opened in breach of Facebook’s Terms. In their filing, Facebook broke down their estimates of fake accounts into three categories:
- “duplicate accounts,” (an account that a user maintains in addition to their primary account) – 4.8% of all accounts
- “misclassified accounts,” (accounts that represent an entity besides the user, such as a business or a pet) – 2.4% of all accounts
- “undesirable accounts,” (accounts that purposely violate Facebook’s terms of service, such as spamming) – 1.5% of all accounts
Are these all Blackhat marketing – paid likes?
According to Techcrunch, some pages have lost thousands of ‘Like’s as a consequence of these closures – but not all fake accounts will have been created by hackers for paid ‘Likes’. Some may simply have been opened in order to aid Facebook Page administration. Whilst Facebook requires that all Page admin accounts belong to real people and that you may have only one profile to serve all your needs, this does present those administering Pages with some problems, if a large team is needed top cover the management and moderation of a busy Page 24/7.
An agency may well have as many as 30 or 40 staff who may be rostered to work on a page. Without sharing a fake ‘Page admin’ Facebook account, all the staff would need to be appointed admins of the page with their own FB profiles. This – although perfectly possible – presents a nightmare to keep control and track of, especially when you multiply this by the number of Pages an agency may be working on.
Posting as the page
If you’ve been using Facebook as the Page – for example to do a little B2B networking on other people’s pages – you need to be ultra-careful to change your options before you start doing some personal Facebooking. Commenting “OMG!!!!! I can’t belieeeeeevvve it!” on your BF’s new relationship status when you’re using Facebook as your banking client is all too easy. If you are logged in as a purely ‘admin’ profile you are far less likely to make this mistake.
It’s true that lately Facebook has done much to improve the life of admins – now offering
- the option at the top of the page now to post of the page as yourself or the page
- checking Insights from the page, which relieves the need to have email into the admin account
- offering five different levels of admin permissions (though as these cannot be customised, they are not ideal: for example, the ‘Moderator’ role can not remove photos from the page, which doesn’t suit my agency).
But the difficulties of managing page admin as a team remain.
Testing Facebook developments
Facebook changes (sometimes without announcement or explanation) are sometimes pretty hard to figure out. Every time something alters, we have to test it out. How does the page look when you haven’t ‘liked’ it? Do friends of this user see the post an admin just hid? Does the filter take out a particular swear word .. and for the person who posted it too? These are the kinds of things we test (and report on this this blog) all the time, and they depend on being able to see the admin view, the non-‘fan’ view, the ‘fan’ view, the view of a friend of the fan, (etc) all at the same time. Well, either you have some colleagues or friends who are happy to share their Facebook log ins with you, or happy to give up a few hours reporting back and sending through screenshots – or you need more than one profile.
‘Admin’ profiles needed
No-one working professionally in social media wants to break the rules, because if an administration profile used by an entire moderation team is suspended, the consequences are dire. It’s just not worth taking that risk. But pleeeease Facebook! Could you create something like ‘admin profiles’, which could be used for such purposes without distorting your statistics or breaking your terms of service?