As the world’s largest social networking platform, Facebook has witnessed a surge in the number of users in the past few years. Hundreds of millions of people have joined its space to communicate, keep in touch with the latest trends or promote business, especially after the pandemic hit.
Although the COVID-19 restrictions have been relaxed in most countries, Facebook’s active user base continues growing, but so does the number of fake accounts.
According to data presented by StockApps.com, the social media giant removed over 15 bln fake accounts in the last two years, five times more than its active user base.
Scammers use fake Facebook accounts to connect with users, get their personal information and steal identities. Most of them will reach out to anyone who’s accepted their friend request to try and scam them out of money.
Many fake accounts are also driven by spammers who are constantly trying to invade Facebook’s systems. Although the social media giant invested in enhanced technology to detect automated and coordinated spam, the problem is still getting worse.
According to the company’s official data, in 2019, Facebook remover 6.5 bln fake accounts, the highest number to date.
Last year witnessed a slight decrease, with 5.8 bln accounts being removed from the platform.
However, during the first half of 2021, Facebook removed another 3 bln fake accounts from its platform, showing the number of spammers was on the rise again. That was almost 20 times more than the number of active users who joined Facebook in this period.
Between January and June, the social network took action on about 1.7 bln pieces of spam content, down from 3.3 bln in the same period a year ago.
The issue of fake accounts hasn’t affected the growth of its active user base.
In the first quarter of 2010, the popular social media platform had 431 million users. In the next two years, the number of active Facebook users surpassed one billion, making it the first social network ever to do so.
Statistics show the number of users continued growing in the following years and hit more than 2.5 bln in 2019. However, as millions of people started spending more time indoors and online amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Facebook’s user base jumped by nearly 300 mln YoY and hit 2.8 bln in 2020, the highest annual increase in years.
As of the second quarter of 2021, Facebook had close to 2.9 bln monthly active users, showing almost a 300 mln increase in a year.