Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Science | By Michele Flores

Facebook disabled 583 mln fake accounts in Q1

Facebook disabled 583 mln fake accounts in Q1

However, Facebook's ability to find this hate speech before users had reported it was not as good as other categories, with the company picking up only 38%.

"As Mark Zuckerberg said at F8, we have a lot of work still to do to prevent abuse", Guy Rosen, Facebook's vice president of product management, wrote in a blog post. "Accountable to the community". And the company's failure to properly catch hate speech could push users off the platform before it is able to develop an AI solution. The Facebook leader added that the company would notify users if their data were compromised.

Today's report was Facebook's first breakdown of how much material it removes for violating its policies.

On Tuesday, the largest social network in the world for the first time published a report on the work of the artificial intelligence (AI), which should protect users from the stream of false information, pornography and messages of hate.

Of course, the authors note, while such AI systems are promising, it will take years before they are effective at removing all objectionable content.

Over the past year, the company has repeatedly touted its plans to expand its team of reviewers from 10,000 to 20,000. The report shows just how much of that content was seen by Facebook users, how much was removed, and provides evidence that 583 million fake Facebook accounts were deleted. While the company still asks people to report offensive content, it has increasingly used artificial intelligence technology to weed out offensive posts before anyone sees them.

Facebook took action on 2.5 million pieces of content over hate speech, but doesn't have view numbers as it is still "developing measurement methods for this violation type". As indicated by the article, by Sheera Frenkel, Facebook has been under pressure to remove nudity, violence and hate speech, among other "inflammatory content".

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Facebook revealed that the Community Standards Enforcement Report focused on suspicious activities that took place from October 2017 to March 2018.

However, it declined to say how many minors - legal users who are between the ages of 13 and 17 - saw the offending content.

The company also reported that they took down 21 million pieces of adult nudity and 3.5 million pieces of violent content.

These metrics may seem high, but when you consider the massive amount of both accounts and content that are going through Facebook each day, it's a relatively small fraction of the entirety of the social media platform. The inaugural report was meant to "help our teams understand what is happening" on the site, he said.

The company took down 837 million pieces of spam in Q1 2018, almost all of which was flagged before any users reported it.

During that period, Facebook removed 583 million fake accounts and 836 million spam posts, images, videos and comments.

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