Five Through One: Is Facebook Saying Yes to Fake Profiles?


Facebook Meta Platforms Inc. plans to enable users to soon be able to manage up to five profiles on its leading social network, Facebook

Meta Platforms Inc said the last week it’s flagship social network Facebook is introducing ways for users to maintain up to five profiles, a major shift from the “real name” requirement the company has maintained since its inception. The product change would “help people tailor their experience based on interests and relationships,” like posting different types of content aimed at family versus friends, Meta said in a statement.

The company will continue to require that each user have only one Facebook account, with the main profile that continues to use the person’s real name. People will be able to access any additional profiles they create after logging in to that account.

The change grants users formal leeway to semi-anonymize their identity on the world’s biggest social network, in keeping with options offered by competitors like TikTok and Twitter, as well as Meta’s photo and video app Instagram.

The platform said the test allows users to dedicate different profiles to specific groups they want to connect with, such as one dedicated Facebook feed exclusive to their friends and another one just for their coworkers, reports TechCrunch.

Users, who are part of the test, will be able to switch between their different profiles in a few taps.

“To help people tailor their experience based on interests and relationships, we’re testing a way for people to have more than one profile tied to a single Facebook account,” a spokesperson Leonard Lam was quoted as saying by the website in an email.

“Anyone who uses Facebook must continue to follow our rules,” Lam added.

Additional profiles do not need to include a person’s real name, as users will be able to choose any profile name and username, as long as it is unique and doesn’t use any numbers or special characters.

People’s main profiles must still use the name they use in everyday life, Facebook said.

Scams using fake Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram accounts

At the moment, Facebook has 1.7 billion users. Instagram has around 600 million. Twitter over 300 million. But a scammer only sees millions upon millions of potential victims. Because of their design, some social networks, such as Instagram, are fairly one-dimensional in the types of scams a cybercriminal can carry out on them. Others such as Facebook are more feature-rich and provide more ways for a scammer to defraud you.

Experts believe that fake accounts fall into two categories, being operated either by a bot (aka web robot) or by an ill-intentioned human. But irrespective of type, there are several warning signs that an account is fake.