Facebook has outright dismissed a report from a former Harvard classmate of CEO Mark Zuckerberg claiming that more than half of the social network's users are fake.
The report was published last week by Aaron Greenspan, who studied alongside the billionaire tech executive and claims to have come up with the idea for Facebook first.
In the 75-page study, Greenspan said fake accounts made up more than half of Facebook's 2.2 billion users. This contradicts Facebook, which in 2017 said just 2% to 3% of accounts on the platform were fake.
"Facebook has been lying to the public about the scale of its problem with fake accounts, which likely exceed 50% of its network," the report said. "Its official metrics - many of which it has stopped reporting quarterly - are self-contradictory and even farcical. The company has lost control of its own product."
Facebook strongly denied the findings. "This is unequivocally wrong and responsible reporting means reporting facts, even if it's about fake accounts," a Facebook spokeswoman told Business Insider. She did not give any further explanation.
Greenspan has been a vocal critic of Facebook in the past. In August, for example, he said the platform had caused "countless deaths" because of its addictive qualities. In his report, Greenspan acknowledged a certain degree of bias.
"The author of this report is in the strange position of trying to write objectively about a topic to which he has personal ties," he wrote. "Readers are accordingly welcome to dismiss this analysis as biased, but should be aware that nonetheless, it may still be correct."
Also from Business Insider South Africa: