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Facebook trying to weed out fake profiles
PTI
September 10, 2012
First Published: 12:09 IST(10/9/2012)
Last Updated: 12:15 IST(10/9/2012)
An internet user looks at a Facebook page. AFP

Social networking giant Facebook is making a "huge effort" to weed out fake profiles to prevent misuse of such identities, a senior company official has said.

"Absolutely, there is a huge effort," Facebook India business manager Pavan Varma told when asked about the company's action on this front.

If Facebook doubts the ownership of an account, it will ask the user to identify himself/herself, he said.

The doubt about the authenticity of the account will arise if an account has a generic name instead of a proper name, uses images of celebrities/ cartoon characters as display pictures, or does not have "enough friends", Varma said.

"It could even be that Facebook comes back to you saying, could you help us identify yourself if you don't have enough friends, because we don't want fake identities," he said.

"We are worried about the experience we deliver...It's not about protecting our brand identity so much," he said.

Recently, there were reports of fake accounts being created by computer programs, which are used for inflating the number of "likes" on Facebook page for a brand.

Facebook had recently said it would be taking out fake "likes" generated by spammers, malware and black marketers.

Varma said advertisers must also shed the obsession with numbers. "How does an advertiser today treat a Facebook page?

It is treated as a place where they just come with a number of people who are there. But that is a wrong way of doing it," he said, stressing that the conversations around the brand should assume importance rather than the numbers.

Mere "likes" on the page do not help a brand, he said. Companies generally pay Facebook for a dedicated page on its platform that helps them connect with the target audience.

Varma, who was speaking on the sidelines of a banking summit, said Facebook, as a medium, is completely secure and cited the case of ICICI Bank, which now offers basic services over the Facebook page by integrating its net banking platform with the social networking site.

He added that IDBI Bank claims it has over five lakh fans on Facebook.


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