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Facebook Fraud

There is a surprising amount of false information on Facebook. Some of it is advertising masquerading as social posts. Some of it is even political propaganda: For instance, during the election, a Facebook page that seemed to be from a hospital turned out to be an anti-Obamacare screed.

In the November 13th edition of the New York Times, Somini Sengupta writes: "The fake page came down 11 days later, as mysteriously as it had come up. The hospital says it has no clue who was behind it.

"Fakery is all over the Internet. Twitter, which allows pseudonyms, is rife with fake followers, and has been used to spread false rumors, as it was during Hurricane Sandy. False reviews are a constant problem on consumer websites."

Despite all this, Facebook's motto is: "Facebook is a community where people use their real identities. The name you use should be your real name as it would be listed on your credit card, student ID, etc."

Joe Sullivan, who is in charge of security at Facebook, declined to say what portion of the company's now one billion plus users were fake, but it has admitted that, out of 855 million active users, 8.7 percent (or 83 million), are duplicates, false or "undesirable." It has 150 to 300 staff members actively weeding out that fraud.

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