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That Facebook profile - could be phony like 83 million

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
August 5th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The premier social networking site, Facebook, has experienced a sudden downturn in popularity. Facebook's share price has fallen below $20 for the first time. The reason could possibly be tied to the speculation that approximately eight percent of all of their accounts could be phony.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The "salad days" for the top networking site may indeed be over. The social-networking Web site is now worth almost half what it was when it floated on the Nasdaq in May, losing $50 billion in value, more than the total valuation of Hewlett Packard or coffee company Starbucks.

Facebook's latest figures suggest as many as 83 million users may very well be "bogus" -- these include duplicate accounts, pages for pets and those designed to send spam.

The number of actual accounts is critical for the company as it seeks to secure advertising revenues from the Web site.

The number of accounts grew to 955 million at the end of the second quarter, but some 8.7 percent may in fact be shaky. Facebook admitted as such in its quarterly filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

"Duplicate or false [accounts are] meaningfully lower in developed markets such as the United States ... and higher in developing markets such as Indonesia and Turkey," a statement from the company read.

There are "inherent challenges" in measuring usage "despite our efforts to detect and suppress such behavior," Facebook said.

Duplicate accounts, where one user maintains more than one account may represent some 4.8 percent of active users. Another 2.4 percent may be for a business, group or "non-human entity such as a pet" and 1.5 percent is likely to be "undesirable" accounts that use the accounts for spam or other malicious activity.

Facebook stock has been falling since the company released quarterly earnings last week for the first time as a public company.

Investors were disappointed despite second quarter results meeting Wall Street expectations, with revenue one-third higher than last year.

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