Brief info on rampant fake Facebook accounts that send umpteen friend requests

While I have a page on this site featuring some of the fake Facebook accounts that have sent me friend requests – several of them quite absurd, it’s also interesting to delve a little into information on fake accounts. Here, a few snippets of info culled from various sources [excluded some I found on blackhatworld, via google; as these aim to help create and maintain fake accounts]:

Fake accounts I’ve encountered don’t think; but in future, who knows?

Fake likes from fake Facebook accounts

Click farms have become a growing challenge for companies which rely on social media measurements – meant to indicate approval by real users – to estimate the popularity of their products.

For the workers, though, it is miserable work, sitting at screens in dingy rooms facing a blank wall, with windows covered by bars, and sometimes working through the night. For that, they could have to generate 1,000 likes or follow 1,000 people on Twitter to earn a single US dollar.

How low-paid workers at ‘click farms’ create appearance of online popularity

Multi-purpose bots

But the accounts don’t always involve actual humans taking actions:

The bot farm we found was used to create and manage 13,775 unique Facebook accounts. They each posted 15 times per month on average, for a total of 206,625 posts from this one farm in a given month. 

Bots play a huge role in influence campaigns. State-sponsored influence campaigns from Russia received a lot of attention during the last two US presidential election cycles. They likely used bot farms like this one to spread disinformation and incite Facebook users.

Bots can be used to artificially inflate the public’s perceived enthusiasm for a certain cause, person, product, or viewpoint. Astroturfing, for example, masks the real sponsors of a message to make it appear as though it originates from and is supported by grassroots participants. If people think bots are human, they are more likely to believe that the message has popular support.

In the same vein, bots can be used to artificially boost subscriber or follower numbers. The bot farm we examined subscribed accounts to certain groups. To real users, a page or group with 1,000 members seems more legitimate than a page with a dozen members. This can be used to lure in victims for some sort of scam.

Inside a Facebook bot farm that pumps out 200k+ political posts per month

Political influence

Facebook parent company Meta said Thursday it shut down a network of 4,789 fake Facebook accounts originating from China that were apparently designed to polarize voters ahead of the 2024 election, revealing the latest example of attempted foreign interference in U.S. politics through social media.

Meta Shuts Down Thousands Of Fake China-Based Facebook Accounts Aiming To Polarize U.S. Voters

Catfishing, and criminals monitoring real users’ accounts

Catfishing is a well-known Internet scam, where a catfisher creates a fake online profile in order to seduce a victim into a fictitious online relationship, in order to extract money or other benefits from the victim. 

Criminals can exploit this carelessness by befriending you and then monitor your account to collect information and see what you’re up to. In particular, they’ll be on the lookout for vacation photos outside your home city or country, which means your house is probably empty and ripe to be broken into.

Beware of Scams Using Fake Facebook Profiles

Creating fake Facebook accounts

Casipong plays her role in hijacking the currencies of social media — Facebook likes, Twitter followers — by performing the same routine over and over again. She starts by entering the client’s specifications into the website Fake Name Generator, which returns a sociologically realistic identity: Ashley Nivens, 21, from Nashville, Tennessee, now a student at New York University who works part-time at American Apparel. Casipong then creates an email account. The email address forms the foundation of Ashley Nivens’ Facebook account, which is fleshed out with a profile picture from photos that Braggs’ workers have scraped from dating sites.

Inside a counterfeit Facebook farm

Influencing public opinion

Regular people can’t use Facebook in mainland China; even so:

coordinated networks of Chinese Facebook accounts were increasingly trying to influence public opinion by targeting journalists, charities and public relations firms.

Facebook says China trolls ‘evolving’ in push for influence

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