2018 was a terrible year for Facebook and it seems 2019 has more of the same for them. The platform has been on the receiving end of many an accusation including multiple data leaks that compromised people’s rights to privacy, being used to sway an election in what is arguably the world’s most loud democracy, selling personal data to the highest bidder without a care in the world, spreading fake news as well as murdering kittens.
Now you can add on to the list lying about the number of users who are on the platform to this growing list of litany of their vile deeds. This explosive accusation was made by Aaron Greenspan who compiled a report for consumer rights website PlainSite.
The Facebook numbers
It is generally accepted that over 2 billion people actively use Facebook that means over 2 billion people login at least once a month. According to Alexa and SimilarWeb (both analytic companies) Facebook is the third most visited site in the world after Google (the king of the internet) and YouTube ( people love their kittens). 68% of Americans and a lot of people with money to spend are on the platform.
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This makes Facebook very valuable to advertisers in general. After initially struggling with monetisation the Social Media giant has finally settled on the advertising model and allegedly selling personal data. Common sense dictates that the more people you have the more money you can get when using these avenues of monetisation.
According to Facebook terms, fake accounts are not allowed and they have automated tools that prevent people from creating fake accounts. People are supposed to use their legal names but a lot of people don’t. There are also a lot of people who actively maintain more than one account for various reasons. So it is entirely possible Facebook has inflated its number of users.
But saying more than half of users on Facebook are fake though …
Calling the company an “attention merchant” PlainSite’s paper does not spare any punches:
What seems too good to be true often is. The zeitgeist has changed markedly since 2007, when the company was the obsession of virtually every Silicon Valley investor, having built its Platform to make the world “more open and connected.” Yet as bad as things have been of late for Facebook, with endless privacy breaches and Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election hanging over Menlo Park like a spectre, we believe that the situation is far worse than investors realize. Facebook has been lying to the public about the scale of its problem with fake accounts, which likely exceed 50% of its network. Its official metrics—many of which it has stopped reporting quarterly—are self-contradictory and even farcical.The company has lost control of its own product.
The paper concludes Facebook will go the way AOL, Yahoo, CompuServe and the Dodo. Think sleeping with the Fishes like Luca Brasi. That is pretty harsh language and apart from the fact that Mr Greenspan was a contemporary of Mark Zuckerberg at Havard, there is nothing in this sensationalist report that really backs his wild claims that half of the accounts on Facebook are fake.
There is an extremely small chance that Facebook might have the entire world fooled about its user numbers in material ways but that is extremely unlikely. So if you are an insomniac or find yourself unable to sleep you can download the entire report here. If it doesn’t send you to sleep right away it will at least be entertaining in ways a Stephen King novel will find hard to match.
Just so you know Mr Greenspan is a serial kitten murderer, he has killed at least 50% of the kittens in his home town. Yes, I just made that up and thrown in a number to give credence to the lie.I mean if we are just making up wild claims right?
If you are wondering where you have heard the name Greenspan before, well he is the dude that created the facebook before he was allegedly backstabbed by Mark Zuckerberg. He is the bitter guy in the Social Network movie.