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Facebook deletes 2.2bn fake accounts in first quarter of the year

Extra.ie logo Extra.ie 24/05/2019 George Morahan
a man holding a sign posing for the camera © Provided by Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland

Facebook has announced it disabled 2.19bn fake accounts during the first three months of the year, in addition to the 1.2bn accounts it shut down during the final quarter of 2018.

The number of fake accounts disabled over the six-month period far exceeds the social media giant’s 2.38bn monthly active users, showing the scale of the problem the company faces.

Facebook said it uses AI advanced detection systems to ‘look for potential fake accounts as soon as they sign-up, by spotting signs of malicious behavior.

a screenshot of text © Provided by Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland

‘These systems use a combination of signals such as patterns of using suspicious email addresses, suspicious actions, or other signals previously associated with other fake accounts we’ve removed.

‘Most of the accounts we currently remove, are blocked within minutes of their creation before they can do any harm.’

Accounts that ‘don’t readily show signals of being fake or malicious at first’ are allowed to slip through this net but are shut down when the detection systems identify such behaviour later on.

a screen shot of Mark Zuckerberg © Provided by Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland

Facebook said it had also deleted 7m ‘hate speech’ posts between October and March, a record high, and that out of every 10,000 pieces of content uploaded to Facebook, 14 were of nudity, 25 contained violence or graphic content and fewer than three related to child abuse imagery or terrorist propaganda.

Speaking on a call with reporters on Thursday, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg hit back against numerous calls to break up Facebook, arguing its size made it possible to defend against the network’s problems.

Mark Zuckerberg wearing a suit and tie: Facebook © Provided by Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland Facebook

‘I don’t think that the remedy of breaking up the company is going to address [the problem],’ he said.

‘The success of the company has allowed us to fund these efforts at a massive level. I think the amount of our budget that goes toward our safety systems… I believe is greater than Twitter’s whole revenue this year.’

MORE FINANCE:

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US Supreme Court rules against Apple in anti-trust case (The Telegraph)

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