Facebook has deleted millions of spam posts and fake accounts

What's the score

Facebook said that it had taken moderation action against nearly 1.5 billion accounts and posts which violated its community standards in the first three months of 2018.

Facebook in the first quarter of 2018 removed 583 million bogus accounts, or 3-4% of the monthly audience.

All in all the company removed 583 million fake accounts, although these were not all active at the same time.

21 million pieces of content depicting inappropriate adult nudity and sexual activity were taken down, 96 percent of which were first flagged by Facebook's tools.

Fake accounts plague social networks outside of Facebook, as Twitter and YouTube also deal with bots flooding their websites.

Facebook has published, for the first time, a report with internal statistics about its enforcement efforts to combat violations of its content standards.

Releasing its first quarterly moderation report, Facebook touted success in dealing with fake accounts. For the most part, it has not provided more details on the hiring plan, including how many will be full-time Facebook employees and how many will be contractors.

In its first public release of such data, Facebook said that of every 10,000 pieces of content viewed on the social platform in the first quarter, an estimated 22 to 27 pieces contained graphic violence, up from an estimate of 16 to 19 late past year, Reuters reports.

The committee has also urged Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg to appear before them, adding that it would be open to taking evidence from the billionaire company founder via video link if he would not attend in person. But Facebook's artificial intelligence isn't ideal.

"In addition, in many areas - whether it's spam, porn or fake accounts - we're up against sophisticated adversaries who continually change tactics to circumvent our controls, which means we must continuously build and adapt our efforts".

You can read the full report here and Facebook has also provided a guide to the report as well as a Hard Questions post about how it measures the impact of its enforcement. Some 3.4 million pieces of content were either removed or labelled with a warning during the period covered by the report, with Facebook's improved detection systems picking up 85.6 per cent of the content it subsequently took action on.

- 836 million instances of spam had action taken against them. 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. Almost all were dealt with before any alert was raised, the company said. Facebook noted that while its artificial intelligence technology found and flagged many standard violations, more progress needed to be done. However for hate speech, Rosen said, "our technology still doesn't work that well".

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