Earlier this year Facebook admitted that as many as 5% to 6% of the accounts on its social network were fictitious or duplicates. That would have meant that more than 40 million of its 845m monthly active users are fake.
However, it has now emerged that the problem is far worse than that and the number of fake accounts is more than double that figure.
Facebook has revealed that the true number of fake accounts is 8.7% or 83 million accounts. That means more than the entire population of the UK and then add another 20 million for luck.
The admission has heaped further pressure on the social network, which has been struggling since its IPO in May, has seen its share price continue to slide this week.
Its stock is now trading at $20.30 having dropped more than nine dollars since July 25.
Facebook floated on the Nasdaq back in May at $38, but has been dogged by doubts about is advertising platform, questions about how it will monetize mobile, and now the issue of fake accounts.
In the filings published earlier this week, Facebook said 8.7% of its 955 million active users might not be real. The largest group of fake were duplicates.
Of the 8.7%, 4.8% were classed as duplicate accounts, another 2.4% are user-misclassified accounts, such creating a business page as a personal account, and 1.5% are “undesirable” accounts. Read spam for that.