Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
IT | By Laverne Higgins

Facebook has axed 583 million fake accounts to fight spam

Facebook has axed 583 million fake accounts to fight spam

Facebook is struggling to catch much of the hateful content posted on its platform because the computer algorithms it uses to track it down still require human assistance to judge context, the company said Tuesday.

The social media company targeted accounts which produced inappropriate content from several areas including graphic violence, terrorist propaganda, and hate speech.

Guy Rosen, VP of Product Management, said most of the action Facebook takes to remove bad content revolves around fake accounts and spam.

The company removed or put a warning screen for graphic violence in front of 3.4 million pieces of content in the first quarter, almost triple the 1.2 million a quarter earlier, the world's largest social network was quoted as saying in a published document. "Thanks to AI tools we've built, nearly all of the spam was removed before anyone reported it, and most of the fake accounts were removed within minutes of being registered". This is in addition to the millions of fake account attempts we prevent daily from ever registering with Facebook.

Despite this, the group said fake profiles still make up 3-4 percent of all active accounts. For every 10,000 views of content on Facebook, the company said, roughly 8 of them were removed for featuring sex or nudity in the first quarter, up from 7 views at the end of previous year.

For graphic violence, Facebook took down or applied warning labels to about 3.5 million pieces of violent content during the period - 86 percent of which was identified by Facebook technology before it was reported.

The last stat that Facebook highlighted was hate speech; it admitted its technology wasn't very good at picking it up so it still gets reviewed by review teams.

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Facebook removed 2.5 million pieces of hate speech in the three months to March, a rise of more than half from the three months prior.

Facebook's detection technology "still doesn't work that well" in the hate speech arena and needs to be checked by the firm's review workers, Mr Rosen said. The company says it has 10,000 human moderators helping to remove objectionable content and plans to double that number by the end of the year.

The report also addressed that users will be notified about the detection of these flagged posts and this amounts to 85.6 percent of the user base.

"We believe that increased transparency tends to lead to increased accountability and responsibility over time, and publishing this information will push us to improve more quickly too", wrote Rosen.

"Today's report gives you a detailed description of our internal processes and data methodology".

Also, it claims to have disabled 583 million fake accounts.

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