Facebook has admitted that over 82 million of all of the accounts on the social network site may be fake
The figures emerged in Facebook's most recent quarterly report, in which the company divided the fake accounts up into three categories.
It revealed that 45.8 million are duplicate accounts, where users had simply created multiple accounts for their own online presence, yet failed to maintain more than one.
Another, 22.9 million were 'misclassified accounts', which had been set up for companies, groups or pets. While these accounts are allowed on Facebook, the social media company insists they should be created as pages rather than profiles,
Finally, the report revealed a further 14.3 million were 'undesirable accounts', which had been set up to purposefully violate Facebook's terms and conditions ( with activities such as such as spamming).
In total, the fake accounts amounted to 8.7 per cent of the 955 million users on Facebook.
Facebook released a statement about the report saying: "these estimates are based on an internal review of a limited sample of accounts and we apply significant judgment in making this determination, such as identifying names that appear to be fake or other behavior that appears inauthentic to the reviewers,”
The news caused Facebook shares to dip somewhat; they dropped $19.82 on Thursday before recovering to $20.04.