Gannett Co., the parent company of USA Today, has asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation to look into a problem the paper is having with fake Facebook accounts. The paper reported that the problem had become so large that the fake accounts represented half of the newspaper’s Facebook following.
“Facebook purged millions of those fake accounts from USA Today and other publishers three weeks ago, the latest salvo in the social giant’s battle against scammers and spammers seeking access to its platform and its 1.94 billion users,” USA Today reports. “Those axed accounts included more than a third of USA Today’s approximately 15.2 million Facebook ‘likes’ at the time. Executives of Gannett Co., parent of USA Today and 109 local news properties, said Thursday millions of its remaining followers also were fake, and it continued to accumulate a thousand phony followers a day.”
The report adds: “Facebook on Friday said it’s detected additional suspicious activity since its April fake-account crackdown, some of which look similar to the campaign it disrupted in April. Others more closely resemble common fake profiles that post spam comments and attempt to look legitimate by engaging with businesses’ Facebook pages.”