Facebook has disabled 583 million fake accounts in the past three months

16 May, 2018, 08:05 | Author: Terri Saunders
  • What's the score

"We have lots of work still to do to prevent abuse", Facebook VP Guy Rosen wrote in a separate post. "Accountable to the community".

To distinguish the many shades of offensive content, Facebook separates them into categories: graphic violence, adult nudity/sexual activity, terrorist propaganda, hate speech, spam and fake accounts.

Responses to rule violations include removing content, adding warnings to content that may be disturbing to some users while not violating Facebook standards; and notifying law enforcement in case of a "specific, imminent and credible threat to human life". But only 38 percent had been detected through Facebook's efforts - the rest flagged up by users.

Continued conflict in Syria may be one factor, said Alex Schultz, vice president of data analytics: "Whenever a war starts, there's a big spike in graphic violence". "We use technology, combined with people on our teams, to detect and act on as much violating content as possible before users see and report it". "However, we don't have a sense of how many incorrect takedowns happen - how many appeals that result in content being restored. It's partly that technology like artificial intelligence, while promising, is still years away from being effective for most bad content because context is so important", he 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.

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

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Mr Rosen said making the figures public will "push" the company to improve more quickly. Additionally, the site got rid of 21 million examples of adult nudity, 3.5 million violent posts and 2.5 million pieces of hate speech. The report provided detailed data on just how much objectionable content CEO Mark Zuckerberg's famed social network had to moderate in recent months.

The number of pieces of nude and sexual content that the company took action on during the period was 21 million, the same as during the final quarter of past year.

FACEBOOK is struggling to block hate speech posts, conceding its detection technology "still doesn't work that well" and it needs to be checked by human moderators.

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.

The social network says when action is taken on flagged content it does not necessarily mean it has been taken down. Current estimates by the firm suggest 3-4% of active Facebook accounts on the site between October 2017 and March were fake.

Rosen also said that Facebook blocks millions of fake account attempts every day from even attempting to register, but did not specify how many. The company attributed the decline to the "variability of our detection technology's ability to find and flag" fakes. The percentage was consistent in the first quarter of 2018 with a total 583 million accounts.

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