You might not know it but Facebook is battling with the non-human Facebook users. In computer terminology, such users are called “bots” which are actually software programs that create fake Facebook profiles, befriend with real users and even interact with them! Such programs are being referred to as socialbots and there is a growing worry that such programs might cause unimaginable harm to online social networks.
While Facebook engineers are busy formulating techniques to defeat socialbots and other spams –there are a few indicators that you can use to identify such profiles. Once you identify such a fake profile –it's better to stay away from them. Here are the tips for identifying fake Facebook profiles:
The fake profiles sometimes make use of pornographic profile pictures. Mostly the profile picture will show a woman with exposing body parts. Photograph of a woman is used because it has been statistically proved that males rather easily accept friend requests from strangers. Moreover, it should not come as a surprise that most males tend to accept friend requests from females with beautiful bodily features. Socialbots tap this natural instinct in men in order to increase chances of having large number of friends.
Checkout the friend list of suspected fake profile. You’ll see a gender imbalance among friends of such profiles. Usually you will find the scale sharply tilted towards men and you’ll see a lot of male friends (their profile pictures may also be of pornographic nature by and large)
Number of friends is also usually high; it could even be in thousands.
You’ll see that friends of such profiles will be distributed all over the globe with no high density local friend base (which is unnatural). This happens exactly because such profiles are fake and have no real social existence. We, the real people, tend to have more friends from our hometown or place of our current residence.
Fake profiles will have several other fake profiles as friends because these socialbots have only one objective: make as many friends as possible. So, they do not reject friend requests from anyone and when other fake profiles send them request –they accept it too!
There will not be many (if any) posts on the Facebook Wall of such profiles. If posts shall be there –the nature of the posts would be tailored to attract attentions. Videos, photos, messages of vulgar kind could be found posted by such profiles.
Usually, such profiles have very little amount of information filled in their profiles. Items like movies, books, religious and political inclination, people who inspire, favorite athletes shall be empty. The filled in information can also be decidedly of arousing nature (e.g. Occupation could be “having fun” etc.)
Fake profiles don't have many albums and store a small number of photos in the albums that exist. There will not be any coherence among photos. Real people usually make event based albums. For example, photos from wedding ceremony of a friend; all these photos that we post show coherence among them. But fake profiles will have photos that have no relationship with each other.
Fake profiles don't interact with friends. They hardly share anything or make comments. If you see a person is regularly making totally out of context comment –that profile could be a fake one.
Check out when the profile was created and then see the number of friends. If a profile has thousands of friends within a few weeks of joining Facebook –there could be something wrong.
Fake profiles do sometimes impersonate celebrities. So, if you’ve got a friend request from the likes of David Beckham or Kareena Kapoor –you should think why would they send you a friend request? If by chance you really have received such a request –please check profile’s details and photo albums to make sure you are not befriending a fake profile.
If you come across a fake profile, be sure not to accept their request. Such profiles could be dangerous and can steal your personal details from Facebook. Facebook is a social networking platform –therefore, meeting new people is part of Facebook life. But it is always good to be careful and prudent while accepting strangers in your friend list. If you find a fake profile, make sure you report it to Facebook.
Happy social networking!