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Facebook removes 3bn fake accounts in six months

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Addis Ababa, May 24, 2019 (FBC) -Facebook said it had removed more than 3 billion fake accounts between October and March.

Facebook revealed the new figure Thursday as part of its updated transparency report, which also detailed the prevalence of hate speech, graphic photos and videos, and other abusive content on its platform.

Facebook said that the billions of accounts it removed over the six-month period, which it attributed to “unsophisticated” bad actors that are caught while creating spam profiles, were “never considered active,” so they did not count toward the company’s total number of monthly active users.

In the first quarter of this year, Facebook reported that it had 2.3 billion monthly active users, a figure that investors track closely to chart Facebook’s popularity and growth. Facebook estimates about 5 percent of those active accounts are fake.

Between October and March, Facebook reported it removed or labeled 11.1 million pieces of terrorist content, 52.3 million instances of violent or graphic content and 7.3 million posts, photos or other uploads containing hate speech.

In each case, the takedowns marked an increase from recent months, which Facebook attributed to its heightened efforts to deploy artificial intelligence tools and more human reviewers to spot, and potentially remove, posts, photos and videos that violate its rules.

Facebook for the first time also detailed its efforts to combat prohibited posts about guns and drugs, removing about 1.4 million pieces of content that violated its rules against selling guns, gun parts or ammunition, and 1.5 million items about drugs, including marijuana.

Facebook’s latest transparency report reflects its heightened efforts to demystify its practices for spotting and removing the most harmful content online.

Source: Washington Post

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