Facebook disabled 1.3B fake accounts in 6 months

Facebook's latest transparency move is showing you how much objectionable content it removes

Most of the action we take to remove bad content is around fake accounts, and the vast amounts of spam they generate.

In a company first, Facebook has published details of how it deleted or added warnings to about 29 million posts that broke its rules on hate speech, graphic violence, terrorism and sex.

In four of the six categories, it increased deletions over the previous quarter: spam (up 15% from the previous quarter), violent content (up 65%), hate speech (up 56%), and terrorist content (up 73%), while deletions of fake accounts were down 16%, and deletions of nudity and sexual activity saw no change.

Zuckerberg noted that there is still room for improvement with Facebook's AI tools - noticeably flagging hate-speech content. Hate speech is hard to flag using AI because it "often requires detailed scrutiny by our trained reviewers to understand context and decide whether the material violates standards", according to the report.

Under increasing pressure to disclose how it polices its platform, Facebook revealed it took down 837 million pieces of spam content between January and March of this year. During Q1, the social network flagged 96 percent of all nudity before users reported it.

In the first quarter of 2018, Facebook removed 2.5 million pieces of hate speech from its social network.

For hate speech, Facebook's human reviewers and computer algorithms identified just 38 percent of the violations.

"AI still needs to get better before we can use it to effectively remove more linguistically nuanced issues like hate speech in different languages, but we're working on it", said Zuckerberg to CNet.

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With regards to graphic violence, 3.5 million items were removed in Q1 2018 and 86% was flagged before it was reported.

"We estimate that fake accounts represented approximately 3-4 per cent of monthly active users on Facebook during Q1 2018 and Q4 2017", the report said.

As perhaps the most prolific social media service ever, Facebook plays a vital role in connecting us with friends and family around the world.

Nearly 86 percent was found by the firm's technology before it was reported by users.

While the removal of 583 million fake Facebook accounts is certainly noteworthy, it does little to address concerns regarding actual user privacy. "This is the same data we use to measure our progress internally - and you can now see it to judge our progress for yourselves".

Facebook does not fully know why people are posting more graphic violence but believes continued fighting in Syria may have been one reason, said Alex Schultz, Facebook's vice president of data analytics.

Since the fallout over political firm Cambridge Analytica obtaining millions of Facebook users' data without their permission, Facebook reiterated its commitment to being more transparent.

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