Massive Crackdown Against Fake Accounts: Facebook Deleted 1.5 Billion Accounts
The social media giant, Facebook has heightened its fight against pretenders and fake accounts in its pursue its commitment with the government. They have released an official report, summarizing their action of banning at least 1.5 billion fake accounts from the social media platform.
“We receive legal requests from governments and other entities around the world. We share data on these requests and the strict policies and processes we have in place to handle them. External dynamics can play a major role in people’s ability to access and use the Internet and social media. Facebook tracks and reports on these factors and how they affect people’s experience with our community. During the first half of 2018, the number of pieces of content we restricted based on local law increased 7%, from 14,280 to 15,337. We also identified 48 disruptions of Facebook services in 8 countries in the new reporting period, compared to 46 disruptions in 12 countries in the second half of 2017. We continue to be deeply concerned by internet disruptions, which prevent people from communicating with families and friends and also threaten the growth of small businesses,” explained Facebook in their official newsroom.fb.com page.
Facebook has denied allegations of being used as a platform of choice for Russian-based influencer groups that affected the 2016 elections. It is Russia’s influence using fleets of fake accounts with political narrative in the Facebook site which was blamed to the bias exchange of opinions towards favoring the eventual winner of the Trump presidency.
“The report also includes data covering the volume and nature of copyright, trademark and counterfeit reports we received, as well as the amount of content affected by those reports. During this period, on Facebook and Instagram we took down 2,999,278 pieces of content based on 466,810 copyright reports, 203,375 pieces of content based on 69,756 trademark reports, and 641,059 pieces of content based on 29,828 counterfeit reports. Publishing this report reinforces our commitment to transparency. We’re always working to improve our reporting in these areas and we look forward to making this report available in more than 15 different languages in early 2019,” Facebook further emphasized.
Aside from using fake accounts, other accounts were also banned were connected with either of the following activities, which are according to Facebook fail to meet their Community Standards:
- Heavy graphic content
- Terrorist propaganda
- Hate speech
- Adult nudity and sexual activity
Facebook primarily uses automation and AI to filter languages that don’t conform to their Community Standards. The lack of enough human eyes to check the posts made Facebook to only detect and cancel 14.9% of cyber bullying posts, while hate speech had better removal rate of 51.6%. The statistics is accurate as of September 2018.
“We’re committed to making Facebook a place that’s open and authentic, while safeguarding people’s private data and keeping our platform safe for everyone. We publish regular reports to give our community visibility into how we enforce policies, respond to data requests and protect intellectual property, while monitoring dynamics that limit access to Facebook products,” concluded Facebook.
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Kevin Jones, Ph.D., is a research associate and a Cyber Security Author with experience in Penetration Testing, Vulnerability Assessments, Monitoring solutions, Surveillance and Offensive technologies etc. Currently, he is a freelance writer on latest security news and other happenings. He has authored numerous articles and exploits which can be found on popular sites like hackercombat.com and others.