Facebook Deletes 500 Million Fake Accounts In Effort To Clean Up Network

Photo (Image credit: Facebook)

After admitting that it let Cambridge Analytica use its network to grab unwitting users' data, Facebook has been on thin ice with both consumers and government officials. Now, the company wants to show that it can do a decent job of policing itself.

Today, Facebook released its first Community Standards Enforcement Report, which details millions of pieces of content that have been removed from the site in 2018 for violating the network's standards. Of the roughly 1.5 billion posts and accounts that were removed from the site so far this year, the majority are spam (837 million) and fake accounts (583 million).

Removing the fake accounts is significant, as Facebook works on damage control after bots were allegedly used to influence elections. By releasing these numbers, Facebook can claim that it's getting a grip on its community. However, it's important to note that the company says it deleted even more fake accounts (694 million) in Q4 of 2017.

Numbers for other hot button issues caught in the cull include: adult nudity and sexual activity (21 million posts), graphic violence (3.4 million), hate speech (2.5 million), and terrorist propaganda (1.9 million).

While Facebook uses what it calls “detection technology” to root out offending posts and profiles, the software has difficulty detecting hate speech. Of the total 2.5 million hate speech posts removed, only 38 percent were pulled by Facebook’s tech before users reported it. Compare that to the 95.8 percent of nudity or 99.5 percent of terrorist propaganda that Facebook purged automatically.

Facebook noted in the report that, “Hate speech content often requires detailed scrutiny by our trained reviewers to understand context and decide whether the material violates standards.”

Whether this leaves room for human bias is yet to be seen. The renewed attempt at transparency is a nice start for a company that has come under fire for allowing its social network to host all kinds of offensive content. We'll have to see whether Facebook continues to share data with the public in the weeks and months ahead.

  • DookieDraws
    Never had an interest in Myspace or Facebook.
  • shrapnel_indie
    We're talking facebook here.... bias is inevitable.
  • BulkZerker
    "adult nudity and sexual activity (21 million posts)"

    "hate speech (2.5 million), and terrorist propaganda (1.9 million)."

    Consider Facebooks history on the first quote, and the internet outrage machine on the second point. How many baby pictures and actual discussions are now gone?

    Same here Dookie. Still dont have any social media accounts... never will. I must be anti social that i dont live my life /following people or fishing for /likes, seeking other's favors and/or approvals, living in someone elses "cloud", and being dis"connected".
  • 10tacle
    I find it rather amusing listening to the accusations that "bot" FB accounts were proven to influence the election (I assume that means the 2016 US presidential election and BREXIT they are referring to). What idiot decides his vote on what others post, bot or real? If there are people out there like that who can't think for themselves, then they shouldn't even be voting at all. Let the higher informed populate deal with big complicated behind the scenes policy stuff. The other comical thing about that claim is that Facebook themselves were caught red handed linking "trending" stories that had a political bias and blocking stories from opposing political viewpoints. Hypocrites.

    With that said, Facebook is ruining our ability to communicate with each other and is regressing human social interaction in the real world. It is turning into a "LOOK AT ME!" competition among friends and family. Women especially. Everyone tries to outdo everyone else in holiday photos, vacation photos, children birthday photos, what they cooked for dinner photos, the list is endless. My sister for example is addicted to it and constantly tries to get that "perfect"photo to keep up with those family photos of her girlfriends' families. Christmas is always a nightmare. But hey, she gets that shot perfect and uploads it while our food gets cold! Then it's like "Oh look, look at all the likes and emoticons I'm getting! Yaaaay for me!" Society is dumbing down. Maybe that's what Zuckerberg had in mind all along before he takes over the world.

  • guadalajara296
    I agree with 10tacle coMents and I dont believe Russian influence on Facebook posts could alter or change peoples Minds that changed the election results.
  • xnazmus
    Yeah I seen This Before On a Pinterest Pin , I think It's Good For Facebook Brand Value