Facebook recently shut down many fake pages, accounts and groups for spreading misinformation and fake news. It also removed hundreds of accounts that used artificial intelligence (AI) technology to generate fake profile pictures.
Removing photo-sharing accounts
Facebook also removed fake accounts from its photo-sharing application, Instagram. Instagram is a photo-sharing app that is popular among millennials and teenagers. The platform is also home to fake accounts that spread fake news and misinformation.
Researchers behind the study of these fake accounts noted that this is the first time they have seen AI images used on such a large scale. They also expressed concerns about how social media platforms are going to combat such issues before the 2020 US presidential election. This concern is especially acute in light of the abuse of social media in the 2016 US presidential election.
Facebook, like other social media companies, faces a difficult challenge in removing the abundance of fake accounts, groups and pages.
The importance of people: preventing abuse
In a blog post, the company said that it is constantly working to detect improper activity and stop it. It added that it does not want its services used to manipulate its users.
The removed accounts included some that were using fake profile pictures to pretend to be Americans and join groups like “Trump for America’s President” and “America Needs President Trump.” The fake accounts had profile pictures of people who do not actually exist, but which used AI to generate believable pictures.
The actions of real people – social media users – are an important part of the battle against fakes and fake news. When people report pictures, videos and posts that are fake, it helps social media companies in the process of cleaning up shop.