Facebook flushes 3 billion fake accounts in major crackdown

Facebook flushes 3 billion fake accounts in major crackdown

Facebook has removed more than three billion fake accounts from its platform in a huge crackdown. The tech giant revealed it culled 3.3 million accounts from October 2018 – March 2019.

Facebook also estimates that fake accounts represent a whopping 5% of its monthly active users globally.

During the latest cull, the majority of the fake accounts were detected and removed automatically, according to Facebook.

It estimates that fake accounts represent about 5% of its monthly active users globally.

Facebook (Image: Getty)

The vast majority were detected automatically, using technology to identify and remove millions of fake accounts within minutes of their creation, the social network said.

Using AI to proactively catch bad actors has prevented some people from even seeing fake accounts, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said, though he did not disclose the origin of the spammers behind them.

Facebook also took action on a record amount of hate speech, according to its third Community Standards Enforcement Report, targeting 3.3 million between October and December, and four million between January and March.

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Mark Zuckerberg


More than a quarter (1.1 million) in the first three months of 2019 received appeals from people to reverse their decision, though only 130,000 were restored following these complaints.

In a bid to be more transparent about details of its operations, Facebook is revealing stats about appeals for the first time, as well as adding metrics for the removal of posts selling drugs and guns.

Results also show that Facebook is still largely reliant on people reporting incidents of bullying and harassment rather than detecting them automatically, with 85.9% from January to March reported by users first.

Also Read: Facebook bans Israeli firm over coordinated fake accounts targeting Africa

“On bullying and harassment, we still have a lot of work to do,” Mr. Zuckerberg admitted.

The amount of content found containing child nudity and sexual exploitation has fallen since reporting started in July 2018 to 5.4 million in the first three months of 2019, down from 6.8 million in the previous quarter and 8.8 million in the quarter before that.

It has since fixed the bug and is currently trying to remove any content it missed.
From next year, Facebook will start publishing its transparency reports quarterly and said its next report will also include data on Instagram for the first time.

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I Workout, I Write, I Run Fitness buff first. Also curate articles along the technology, wellness, and health lines. Best described as a Fitpreneur.

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