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Facebook page on Weibo deemed a fake -- after 80,000 people follow it

There was some hope in China that the account, which had several updates reflecting positively on Facebook, could be the real thing, but the social network has confirmed it's not.


A Facebook page that cropped up on major China-based social network Weibo is not real, after all, the world's largest social network has confirmed.

At some point over the last several days, a "Facebook, Inc." page was created on China's Weibo social network that purported to be the real thing. The page included images of Facebook's headquarters and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg. Not long after it was added to the Weibo site, the page secured over 80,000 followers who believed that Facebook, which is blocked in China, had found a way to reach out to its citizens through another social network.

In an e-mailed statement to CNET on Tuesday, however, Facebook confirmed that it "did not create this account." It's also believed that Weibo, which has since taken the page down, is investigating who created the account.

For the last few years, Facebook has been banned in China because of the Beijing government's efforts to keep users from forming a community on social networks owned by American companies. ( Cyberespionage tensions surely can't help matters.) Twitter and YouTube are similarly blocked, and Google moved its search service to Hong Kong after a battle with the country over censorship.

Despite being blocked in China, Facebook has a cult-like following in the country and is viewed by many as a gateway to less censorship. The fake page's quick popularity on Weibo, therefore, is perhaps no surprise.

(Via WSJ)