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Facebook Deletes 500 Million Fake Accounts In Effort To Clean Up Network

16 May, 2018, 08:08 | Author: Samuel Sharp
  • Entrance to Facebook's Menlo Park office

Facebook has released internal figures on abusive content found and removed from the site for the first time, revealing the scale of malicious content on the social network.

Facebook's new Community Standards Enforcement Report "is very much a work in progress and we will likely improve our methodology over time", Chris Sonderby, VP and deputy general counsel, wrote in a blog post about the report.

"We estimate that fake accounts represented approximately 3 percent to 4 percent of monthly active users on Facebook during Q1 2018 and Q4 2017", the report said. "We use technology, combined with people on our teams, to detect and act on as much violating content as possible before users see and report it".

It addressed how Facebook enforces its guidelines, detailing the removal of hundreds of millions of fake accounts and spam items in the first three months of 2018.

The site also said it took down 21 million pieces of nudity and sexual activity-related content, 96% of which was found and flagged by its systems before being reported.

Facebook's vice president of product management, Guy Rosen, said that the company's systems are still in development for some of the content checks.

A spokeswoman later said that Facebook blocks "disturbing or sensitive content such as graphic violence" so that users under 18 can not see it "regardless of whether it is removed from Facebook". Facebook has gone under intense scrutiny over issues of disinformation campaigns from Russian trolls, as well as a data scandal involving 87 million people. According to the report, this step is taken in instances where graphic content is being used to spread awareness or condemn violence, and doesn't go against the company's policies.


In the first quarter of 2018.

Facebook says 0.22-0.27% of views by users were of content that violated its standards around graphic violence in the period.

The report comes in the face of increasing criticism about how Facebook controls the content it shows to users, though the company was clear to highlight that its new methods are evolving and aren't set in stone, CNET's Parker reports.

Spam continues to be a problem at Facebook and a whopping 837 million pieces were removed from its service during the first quarter. That doesn't include what Facebook says are "millions" of fake accounts that the company catches before they can finish registering.

That's up from 0.06-0.08% during the last three months of 2017.

In the first quarter of 2018, Facebook removed 2.5 million pieces of hate speech from its social network. "We tend to find and flag less of it, and rely more on user reports, than with some other violation types".

Facebook deletes millions of accounts every day, the social network revealed. However, when it came to hate speech, the company's technology only flagged around 38 percent of posts that it took action on and Facebook notes it has more work to do there.

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