Published: Sat, May 25, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Facebook removed 3 billion fake accounts over 6 months

Facebook removed 3 billion fake accounts over 6 months

Facebook says it deleted 2.2 billion fake accounts in the first three months of this year.

The company, in its latest report, mentioned that they took down these accounts before they had a chance to become "active" users of the social network.

According to Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the company's system is capable of detecting hate speech in 40 different languages at this point.

"For fake accounts, we estimated that 5pc of monthly active accounts are fake". Even as Facebook's detection tools get better, so do the efforts by the creators of these fake accounts.

Results also show that Facebook is still largely reliant on people reporting incidents of bullying and harassment rather than detecting them automatically, with 85.9% from January to March reported by users first.

In a bid to be more transparent about details of its operations, Facebook is revealing stats about appeals for the first time, as well as adding metrics for the removal of posts selling drugs and guns. "These numbers are driven largely by automated attacks.most of these are blocked within minutes of their creation", he said during a call with reporters.

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Facebook said on Thursday that it recently disabled billions of bogus accounts set up by "bad actors" and that five per cent of active accounts are likely fakes.

The company removed 7 million posts, photos and other content that broke its hate speech rules, it said. While the company has ramped up its effort in detecting fake accounts, online abuse, and hate speech with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has increased.

"Those are the most important social issues right now, and I don't think breaking up the company is going to address those", Zuckerberg said. They argue Facebook, which has acquired Instagram and WhatsApp in recent years, wields far too much power and has a monopoly in the industry.

Facebook said in a blog post it took the action in response to a spike in "bad actors" creating massive amounts of accounts at once, vowing "to find more ways to counter attempts to violate our policies". As such, the 2.2 billion figure does not include accounts that were prevented from registering.

The alleged Russian meddling in the U.S's 2016 election has raised concerns about the role of political ads on the platform, leading to discussion among Facebook senior staff as whether to nix running political advertisements altogether, according to more former employees.

Facebook also took down almost 1 million posts related to drug sales, along with 670,000 posts related to the sale of firearms.

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