Facebook Deletes 583 Million Fake Accounts

Posted on

Facebook is not just deleting third-party apps, but is shutting down fake accounts as well to fight false news and hate speech. The tech giant published its first ever Community Standards Enforcement Report on May 15 to restore the faith of people in the social media platform.

This is how Facebook is combating privacy scandals and fake news

Facebook disclosed that it shut down over 583 million fake accounts in the first quarter of this year. Between the start of 2018 and March 31, over 6.5 million fake accounts were made, on average, every day. According to the company’s VP of Product Management, most of the fake accounts were removed within minutes of registration. This elimination of fake accounts was possible due to the artificial intelligence tools of the tech company, which differentiate between bots and humans.

Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) may not be completely foolproof, but it is definitely useful. Facebook reports that around 3% to 4% of accounts are not real on the platform, meaning that about 66 million accounts out of the overall 2.2 billion accounts are fake. According to public filings, around 2% to 3% of its monthly active users were fake in the third quarter of last year.

Furthermore, Facebook was able to delete over 837 million spam posts in the first three months of 2018 alone. Rosen notes that the key behind combating spam is shutting down accounts that spread it. Facebook is no doubt taking several measures to fight fake news, one of the most severe being blocking access of more than 200 third-party applications which were violating its data policies.

Improved technology helping Facebook in several ways

Better tech that used A.I. enabled the social network to act on around 3.4 million posts that contained graphic violence. This figure is almost 3 times more than the figure posted in the last three months of 2017. According to the report, Facebook detected the images before being alerted by the users about them in more than 85% of the cases.

Better tech also enabled the social networking site to take action against around 1.9 million posts that contained terrorist propaganda. This figure represents a 73% increase over the last quarter of 2017. Facebook noted that almost all those posts were dealt with before any alert was raised by any user.

The company noted that it detects most of the fake accounts on its own through software algorithms; however, about 1.5% of the fake accounts it disabled were found after they were flagged by the users.

Moreover, 21 million posts related to sexual activity and adult nudity were removed in the first quarter of 2018. These numbers are not small, proving that the social media platform is trying to fight fake news. But Facebook needs to take further steps against hate speech – it revealed in its report that its technology is still not very effective in addressing hate speech.

Continue reading