Facebook removes over 300 crore fake accounts in 6 months

Rise in the number of fake accounts on Facebook was owing to bad actors who attempt to create large volumes of accounts at one time

By BusinessToday.In  
Friday, May 24, 2019

Facebook removed over 300 crore fake accounts between October 2018 and March 2019, according to a report published by the social media giant. That's nearly double the number of fake accounts it removed in the previous quarter. According to Facebook's Enforcement Report, as many as 5% of its monthly active users are fake and the increase is due to the rise in automated attacks.

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"For fake accounts, the amount of accounts we took action on increased due to automated attacks by bad actors who attempt to create large volumes of accounts at one time," Guy Rosen, Facebook's vice president for integrity, said in a blog post. Facebook disabled 1.2 billion accounts in Q4 2018 and 2.19 billion in Q1 2019.

The removal of the fake accounts highlights the challenges faced by the company in making the platform safe as it tries to enforce the guidelines and get rid of hate speech, nudity and offensive content from the site. Facebook has confirmed that it removed a record 70 lakh posts that were perpetuating hate.

According to the report, for every 10,000 times people viewed content on Facebook, 25 views contained content that violated Facebook's violence and graphic content policy. It also added that for every 10,000 times people viewed content on Facebook, 11 to 14 views contained content that violated its adult nudity and sexual activity policy.

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Facebook is using AI to detect fake accounts. Facebook maintains that it was able to detect over 95% of the content before anybody's intervention. The social network also added that it took action on about 9,00,000 pieces of drug sale content, of which 83.3% were detected proactively. In the same period, Facebook said it removed 69.9% of posts that talked about firearm sale. It said it took action on more than one million posts selling guns in the six-month period covered by the report.

The crackdown on fake accounts is a result of recent Federal Trade Commission's probe into Facebook's data practices. There have also been calls for Facebook's break-up by some lawmakers and company's own co-founders. However, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg opposed the idea and said he was open to regulation and content moderation.

Edited By: Udit Verma

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