Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Facebook Closes 583 Million Fake Accounts

Facebook Closes 583 Million Fake Accounts

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.

Today, Facebook released its first Community Standards Enforcement Report, which details millions of pieces of content that have been removed from the site in 2018 for violating the network's standards.

The report covers the period between October, 2017 to March, 2018 and deals with content removed for graphic violence, adult nudity and sexual activity, terrorist propaganda, hate speech, spam, and fake accounts. Facebook has more than 2 billion monthly active users, suggesting there are still millions of fake accounts on its service at any given time.

The firm disabled about 583 million fake accounts which were disabled minutes after registering. Facebook removed almost 30 million posts it deemed as graphic violence, adult nudity and sexual activity, terrorist propaganda and hate speech.

- The company found 2.5 million posts containing hate speech, a 56 percent increase over the last quarter of 2017.

Facebook took moderation action against nearly 1.5bn accounts and posts which violated its community standards in the first three months of 2018, the company has revealed. "This increase is mostly due to improvements in our detection technology", the report notes.

While Facebook uses what it calls "detection technology" to root out offending posts and profiles, the software has difficulty detecting hate speech.

Getting rid of racist, sexist and other hateful remarks on Facebook is more challenging than weeding out other types of unacceptable posts because computer programs still stumble over the nuances of human language, the company revealed Tuesday.

The company estimated that for every 10,000 pieces of content seen on Facebook overall, between seven and nine of them violated its adult nudity and pornography standards.

He said technology like artificial intelligence is still years from effectively detecting most bad content because context is so important.

It disabled 583 million fake accounts.

"Whether it's spam, porn or fake accounts, we're up against sophisticated adversaries who continually change tactics to circumvent our controls", Mr Rosen said. Still, the fact that there are many issues with the way the company runs the social media platform doesn't detract from the fact that they are taking efforts to make the network a more inviting place that meshes with their content guidelines. The Facebook leader added that the company would notify users if their data were compromised.

Facebook's head of global policy management Monika Bicket said the group had kept a commitment to recruit 3,000 more staff to lift the numbers dedicated to enforcing standards to 7,500 at the start of this year.

Facebook's policing efforts are aimed at maintaining a family-friendly atmosphere for users and advertisers.

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