Facebook banned a staggering 2.2 billion fake accounts in the first three months of 2019 — almost as many as the total number of real people who use the social network.
On Thursday, the Silicon Valley tech giant released the third edition of its Community Standards Enforcement report, a public report that details the company’s efforts to keep its platform clear of fake accounts, abusive material, illegal activity, spam, and other nefarious content.
It details a striking jump in the number of fake accounts it took action against: 2.19 billion were banned in Q1 2019, up from 1.2 billion in Q4 2018. In a blog post, VP of Integrity Guy Rosen wrote of this trend: “The amount of accounts we took action on increased due to automated attacks by bad actors who attempt to create large volumes of accounts at one time.”
The data illustrates the sheer volume of malicious activity still ongoing on Facebook’s platform: It has 2.38 billion genuine monthly active users in total on the social network.
The amount of hate speech Facebook took action on has also continued to climb — up to 4 million in the most recent quarter from 3.3 million in the previous three months, and up from 2.5 million in Q1 2018. But Facebook’s ability to proactively detect this content has also improved: 65.4% of it was detected by the company’s systems and processes, up from 58.8% the previous quarter.
Facebook is touting its improved detection capabilities as a success — allowing it to take action against problematic or illegal content more quickly, before it filters out into the network and causes issues.
“In six of the policy areas we include in this report, we proactively detected over 95% of the content we took action on before needing someone to report it,” Rosen wrote. “For hate speech, we now detect 65% of the content we remove, up from 24% just over a year ago when we first shared our efforts. In the first quarter of 2019, we took down 4 million hate speech posts and we continue to invest in technology to expand our abilities to detect this content across different languages and regions.”
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