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Facebook Removes More Fake Accounts, Says It's Improving Violation Detections

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Facebook Removes More Fake Accounts, Says It's Improving Violation Detections

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) said Thursday it prevented or removed more than 2 billion fake accounts in the first quarter as it works to regain public confidence after criticism about spreading false news.

Facebook said most fake accounts by far are never seen – they’re disabled nearly immediately on creation. Only about 5 percent of active monthly accounts are fake, Facebook said.

The company also said that during the first quarter of 2019 it took down:

  • More than 4 million hate speech posts
  • 900,000 posts promoting narcotics sales
  • 670,000 posts promoting firearm sales

Facebook said it’s getting better at detecting content that violates its standards before anyone reports it. For example, 99.8 percent of fake accounts are removed before being reported, and “hate speech” violations are detected more than 65 percent of the time by the company, up from 23 percent in 2017.

The item drawing the most attention was fake accounts, in part because the number was so large and because of attention on “fake news” during the 2016 election.

Facebook said the number is misleadingly large, because “most of the accounts we currently remove, are blocked within minutes of their creation before they can do any harm.”

One person could create 100 million fake accounts. “And we remove them as soon as they are created,” noted Facebook’s VP of analytics, Alex Schultz, in a blog post.

Facebook shares were down about 2.8 percent Thursday, trading around $180.

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Posted-In: social mediaTech Media Best of Benzinga

 

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