FACEBOOK CHEATING ADVERTISERS WITH FAKE STATISTICS
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As bad as things have been for Facebook since the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke one year ago, one team of researchers, led by a former colleague of Mark Zuckerberg at Harvard who created one of the original Facebook prototypes, thinks the reality of the company’s circumstances is even more calamitous than investors and advertisers realise.
In a report published by PlainSite, an independent research shop led by Aaron Greenspan, analysts calculated that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been repeatedly dishonest to investors and the public about the company’s user metrics, and that the company could be overestimating the number of users by an eye-watering 50%.
The team detailed their findings in a 70-page report published on their website. Ultimately, this is just the latest sign that Facebook, formerly one of the world’s most successful companies, is doomed to go the way of CompuServe and AOL.
PlainSite is a project launched by the Think Computer Corporation and Think Computer Foundation which aims to make ‘data accessible to the public free of charge’ and ‘allows ordinary citizens impact the law-making process,’ according to Bloomberg. Aaron Greenspan recently told his story about how he fits into the history of Facebook’s founding at Harvard on a podcast.
Facebook’s fraudulent numbers hurt its customers (advertisers) by overstating the effectiveness of Facebook’s product, the company said. Fake accounts affect Facebook at its core in numerous ways:
Its customers purchase advertising on Facebook based on the misguided belief that it can target advertisements at more than 2 billion real human beings. As users aren’t real, companies are throwing their money down the drain.
Fake accounts click on advertising at random, or “like” pages, to throw off antifraud algorithms. Fake accounts look real if they do not follow a clear pattern. This kind of activity defrauds advertisers, but rewards Facebook with revenue.
Furthermore, it is reckoned that as many as 25 per-cent of genuine accounts are inactive, disabled or suffer constant blocks. The latter system is based on a dysfunctional system that randomly blocks users for up to 30 days for no reason at all.
Fake accounts often defraud other users on Facebook, through scams, fake news, extortion, and other forms of deception. Often, they can involve governments. FB shares reversed earlier gains after the report started making the rounds; shares were down 1.2% on the day in recent trade.
Many genuine users who migrated to rivals like GAB and VK claim that returns are far higher than they are from Zuckerberg’s discredited fraudulent Facebook.
MICHAEL WALSH is a journalist, broadcaster and the author of RISE OF THE SUN WEEL, EUROPE ARISE, TROTSKY’S WHITE NEGROES, MEGACAUST, DEATH OF A CITY, WITNESS TO HISTORY, THE BUSINESS BOOSTER and THE FIFTH COLUMN VOLUME I and II, and 50 other book titles.
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