Can Fake Friends Wreck Your Business?

A friend pointed me to an article in the New York Times entitled “Facebook’s False Faces Undermine Its Credibility“.

It talks about how Fake Friends on Facebook could hurt Your Business, and has altered Facebook’s reputation.

The author – Somini Sengupta – looked at these false accounts from many different perspectives. Here are a few points, but you should read the whole article, to evaluate your online friends’ influence on your own company’s reputation.

  1. Facebook has ‘said that of its 855 million active users, 8.7 percent, or 83 million, were duplicates, false or “undesirable,” for instance, because they spread spam.”
  2. A hospital had a fake Facebook Business Page appear using their name and logo, with views opposing Obamacare. The hospital realized their reputation was at stake. It took about a week and a half, not to mention some back and forth, to get the social media giant to rule in their favor (and consider the false page was violating FB’s terms of service). In a world of instant access, that is a long time to get a response. So, the hospital took matters into their own hands (as much as they could), by noting it on their real page and getting local press exposure.  The false page disappeared (apparently with no help from FB).
  3. What is Facebook doing about this: FB has hired a team to try to get fake sites removed, and will flag pages inviting 100s of friends at one time.  How does that relate to your real FB account?  Be careful not to send out large numbers of invites, all at once! Isn’t that a common practice, when a page is new?
  4. This last part could be an article in itself: College kids hide their party habits from future employers – by using fake names on their Facebook Accounts. This seems harmless, but some employers might disagree. Gotta give the kids some credit, for coming up with this idea, though! What’s your business policy about hiring practices base on Facebook profiles?

Read the complete article on the NY Times site: https://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/13/technology/false-posts-on-facebook-undermine-its-credibility.html

What do you think?  Which of these online activities are most concerning to you?  And, if you’ve read the article, are their more important social media issues then what I’ve mentioned?

How, if any, will this relate to your interactions with Facebook?  Are you confident Facebook is doing what it can to get the fakes off their site?  Do you think it will influence your decision to use social media?  Will you keep an eye open for fake accounts?

Let us know, by commenting below!

Focusing on the possibilities…

Bethany Siegler

Bethany is the founder of UniqueThink, an online marketing and web design/development firm in Boulder, CO. She specializes in WordPress websites and blogs, Email Marketing and overall marketing strategies.

View all posts by Bethany Siegler

One comment on “Can Fake Friends Wreck Your Business?

  1. An outѕtanding ѕhare! I’ve just forwarded this onto a colleague who had been doing a little research on this. And he in fact ordered me dinner simply because I found it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending the time to discuss this subject here on your internet site.

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