Facebook Working With App Developers to Weed Out Fake Accounts

A few months ago we wrote that Facebook should give developers access to (and votes on) user reputations:

For developers, spammers and trolls can be just as much a problem as they are for Facebook itself. However, most developers lack the resources to implement effective spam detection/user reputation systems. Rather than leaving every app developer to build their own, Facebook should share access to its internal user reputation scores with developers AND allow developers to contribute their own user reputation “votes” back to the system based on how users behave within their apps.

This may be a little ways off, but it would be a win-win for developers, users, and Facebook. Developers wouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel, users would have better app experiences, and Facebook would get more comprehensive user integrity data.

Well, it looks like Facebook is starting to do some work along these lines.

Serious Business is making some changes to the economic model in Friends For Sale, and one of those changes is dealing with the preponderance of fake accounts that users have created in order to be able to get more money in the game. In a thread on the Friends For Sale discussion forums, a Serious Business representative wrote last week (emphasis added):

Among other changes are various interface improvements, weekly new gifts and promotional gifts, and to top it all off we are working with facebook to construct a device that will finally destroy fake accounts.

…You’ll be able to sell those fake accounts back to the bank for a refund.

While this case is much more cut and dry – accounts that are created only to be bought and sold in Friends For Sale are very likely fake accounts – it does demonstrate the concept that Facebook is willing to work with application developers to increase the overall integrity of user accounts in the system.