A verified Facebook page impersonating Elon Musk appears, attracting 70,000 followers before being removed.

A certified Facebook profile with 70,000 followers impersonating Elon Musk has been removed from the social networking site. It was the second instance in less than a month, following the appearance of a fake Facebook page impersonating the Tesla CEO. The recently found fan page seems to have been set up by cryptocurrency fraudsters, as one of its latest postings asked visitors to contact the owner via direct messaging for unidentified virtual money.

Last month, cybersecurity researcher Ehraz Ahmed found Elon Musk’s falsely authenticated Facebook profile. He informed Gadgets 360 that he discovered Musk’s previous Facebook page, which was deactivated in November.

“I was certain that this was not the end, and that the fraudsters would devise another identical scheme.” But what I didn’t anticipate was for the new phony website to appear so quickly,” said the Bengaluru-based investigator.

According to the information on the About section, the page in question was established in May 2015. Curiously, it did not go through any new names, unlike the last verified page that surfaced and was withdrawn last month, which had at least six name alterations in 2021 and was initially intended to represent a “Kizito Gavin” – the inverted name of Uganda football star Gavin Kizito.

Even though the name on the Facebook page was valid and written correctly, the URL was incorrect and appeared as https://www.facebook.com/ellonnmusk. This alone suggested that there’s something strange going on. Furthermore, the confirmed site revealed that it was controlled by individuals from Germany and Spain. Musk is notable for being headquartered in Texas rather than Europe.

Ahmed claimed that both the previously identified and newly discovered Facebook profiles looked to be part of a bitcoin fraud.

“The prior website that I reported offered users to donate Bitcoins in exchange for a twofold quantity,” he explained. “This time, the fraudsters and impersonators went in a new direction. They posted a post claiming that Musk is working on a new coin named #MUSKCoin. Those who want to learn more about this digital money should contact him personally.”

Last week, Web News Observer broke the story regarding Musk’s second verified Facebook profile. Gadgets 360 was able to independently confirm that the page was up until Monday and that it was deleted immediately after we reviewed its features with Facebook parent Meta. However, the corporation did not reply to several seeking comments on the topic.

It is unclear if the site was deleted by Facebook or by its proprietors.

Facebook is described as “lame.”

Musk, who is quite active on Twitter, termed Facebook “lame” in a tweet with the hashtag #DeleteFacebook in February of last year. It was in reaction to Hollywood actor and producer Sacha Baron Cohen’s anti-Facebook remark. Yet, this was not the first time the 50-year-old millionaire demonstrated his disdain for the online community.

Musk mentioned it in 2018 and labeled Facebook stupid at the moment.

Musk still has not been seen on Meta’s Instagram until August of this year.

Despite a comprehensive vetting procedure, it is ineffective.

According to Facebook’s help website, the verified badge verifies that the page or profile on its network reflects the legitimate existence of the public person or brand. According to the firm, “a variety of variables are considered when analyzing Facebook Pages and accounts to evaluate if they are in the interest of the public and fit our certification requirements.” It also requests an authorized identity document from the site or account holder, including a driver’s license or passport, for confirmation. Nevertheless, it appears that such a stringent method does not assist to limit bogus validations.

“For Facebook to make such egregious errors as authenticating this fake Elon Musk account strongly suggests that the company simply has not put enough resources into human-centric review process and are instead hoping its artificial intelligence (AI) systems will work well enough — and they probably do work well in many cases but we know they will also fail in many particular cases,” said Noah Giansiracusa, a professor at Bentley University in Boston.

Giansiracusa has published a book titled “How Algorithms Create and Prevent Fake News” in which he discusses the difficulties of utilizing AI and human moderation to limit fake information online.

Facebook has a history of permitting fake news and disinformation to circulate on its site. The platform has attempted to address these difficulties in the past by releasing upgrades, however, one of the concerns that have yet to be resolved is the issue of fraudulent and duplicate users.

During a 2018 earnings call, Meta CFO David Wehner recognized the issue of identical users. “The Facebook MAU statistic does count dozens of accounts for a single user where such profiles exist,” he said, “and we believe that comprise roughly 10% of our Facebook MAUs, as reported previously in the restriction of key metrics portion in our SEC filings.”

Former Meta worker and whistleblower Frances Haugen also revealed the firm’s issue of mishandling duplicate accounts earlier this year.

According to Giansiracusa, the fact that Facebook has little control over eliminating identical and false accounts implies that the system’s AI algorithms are inefficient and ineffectual in dealing with mimicking personas.

“With phoney profiles like this Elon Musk one, I’m left to wonder if Facebook truly cares enough to properly solve this problem — since even these bogus accounts generate a lot of interaction and thus money for Facebook, so what’s the real motivation for the corporation to keep them in check?” He inquired.

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