Most of us are aware that there are fake Facebook accounts and profiles, but according to Facebook, the problem is much bigger than we might imagine.
It is well known that fraudsters use fake Facebook accounts to contact users and their friends in order to obtain personal information in order to steal their identity. Fake account holders also contact anyone who accepted their friendship request in order to try to extort money.
It is also known that foreign governments use fake profiles to share false information about US politics. There are also many reports of someone creating fake or anonymous accounts to spy on people including ex-partners or family members
Facebook explained that it can now use artificial intelligence to find fake accounts. Previously, this process was done mainly through complaints from other users, which are verified by company employees. The "robots" were able to analyse photos and published texts, but they were not sufficient to determine the veracity of a page.
The company emphasised that most of the fake accounts it addresses were removed within minutes of creation, and as such, those accounts are not included in the metrics it reports, such as monthly active users.
Facebook's terms state that each person can only have one account, specifically that “Facebook is a community where people use their authentic identities. Maintaining more than one personal account is against the standards of the Facebook community.
The Director of the Tech Business News, an Australian technology news platform Matthew Giannelis said,” I don’t believe Facebook is taking their own community standards seriously”
“I’ve personally contacted Facebook on 8 separate occasions while utilising several of there reporting tools and avenues. On each occasion the company refused to remove the fake accounts”
“They said they don’t view the accounts as being an immediate threat or danger to the community in response to the reports they apparently assessed”
Facebook refused to take action on the accounts allowing them to continue operating. All fake accounts were identified as belonging to the same groups and were individuals based in India and Pakistan.
One of those profiles included a girl sitting stroking her cat who apparently lived in Melbourne, Australia. Tech Business News spoke directly to the fake account holder, who admitted that the account was fake, the name was fake, the profile pictures were fake and were being used without consent of the young woman in the images
The fake account holder also made admissions they were in fact from India and wasn’t from Australia or a citizen.
“I reported the fake profile via Facebooks reporting tools and supplied the evidence I gathered only to receive a response from the Silicon Valley company that they didn’t believe the account posed a threat to their community,” said Giannelis
He said, he clearly demonstrated and identified within the messenger chat box logs where the fraudulent account holder claimed they have more fake accounts and the whole Facebook group involved had fake ids also.
Facebook's response and refusal to remove the account ran counter to community standards and its failure to protect intellectual property including the identity of the unsuspecting young woman distorted in the images.
Mr Giannelis made attempts to contact Facebooks reporting team to ask why they believe a person who gave up the fact they their account was fake, using a fictitious name and stolen identity of an unsuspecting young woman is not a threat to the community or a breach of their own published community standards and guidelines.
Giannelis said the company has not responded and don’t seem to be taking these matters seriously.
“This is young woman’s face and identity assumed by a person who frequents Facebook groups well known for common digital marketing scams. Facebook refuses to respond to protect this woman and the rest of the community in this instance”
Facebook recommends reporting any fake accounts, profiles or ID, through its app or by filing out one of their forms however, reports of these accounts are seemly falling on deaf ears.
Published by Mark Fuller