Facebook Deletes 500 Million Fake Accounts In Effort To Clean Up Network

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media captionWATCH Facebook reveals scale of abuse

The post said Facebook found nearly all of that content before anyone had reported it, and that removing fake accounts is the key to combating that type of content.

In Facebook's first quarterly Community Standards Enforcement Report, the company said most of its moderation activity was waged against fake accounts and spam posts-with 837 million spam posts and 583 million fake accounts being acted upon.

Most recently, the scandal involving digital consultancy Cambridge Analytica, which allegedly improperly accessed the data of up to 87 million Facebook users, put the company's content moderation into the spotlight.

The platform also revealed how much content its automated systems were picking up and how much was reported by users.

Facebook removed 21 million pieces of adult nudity and sexual activity in Q1 2018, 96% of which was found and flagged by its technology before it was reported.

Facebook is struggling to block hate speech posts, conceding its detection technology "still doesn't work that well" and it needs to be checked by human moderators. Facebook hopes to continue publishing reports about its content removal every quarter.

"As Mark Zuckerberg said at F8, we have a lot of work still to do to prevent abuse", Guy Rosen, Facebook's vice president of product management, wrote in a blog post.

Facebook also prohibits hate speech and said it took action against 2.5 million pieces of content in the first quarter, up 56 percent a quarter earlier. It attributed the increase to "improvements in our ability to find violating content using photo-detection technology, which detects both old content and newly posted content".

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The report was Facebook's first breakdown on how much material it removes for violating its policies.

Facebook does not fully know why people are posting more graphic violence but believes continued fighting in Syria may have been one reason, said Alex Schultz, Facebook's vice president of data analytics. The renewed attempt at transparency is a nice start for a company that has come under fire for allowing its social network to host all kinds of offensive content.

On Tuesday, Facebook said it took action on some 2.5 million hateful pieces of content in the first three months of 2018, up from 1.6 million in the last three months of 2017. Overall, the social giant estimated that around 3%-4% of active Facebook accounts on the site during Q1 were still fake.

Facebook took down 3.4 million pieces of graphic violence during the first three months of this year, almost triple the 1.2 million during the previous three months.

He said technology like artificial intelligence is still years from effectively detecting most bad content because context is so important.

Facebook says AI has played an increasing role in flagging this content. Tuesday's report said Facebook disabled 583 million fake accounts during the first three months of this year, down from 694 million during the previous quarter.

"We use a combination of technology, reviews by our teams and reports from our community to identify content that might violate our standards", the report says.

The social network estimates that it found and flagged 85% of that content prior to users seeing and reporting it - a higher level than previously due to technological advances.

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