Facebook, so far this year, has remarkably taken down a dizzying amount of fake accounts. In a call with reporters, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that the social media company has nixed 5.4 billion fake accounts in 2019 alone. Now, that is two thirds of the global population, or four times the population of China.
According to the data, approximately 5 percent of worldwide Facebook active users were identified as fake accounts throughout the year. The company said that they classify fake accounts into two types- abusive and under-misclassified. And the trend of taking down these fake accounts is just ticking up; Facebook, in fact, deleted 3.3 billion fake accounts in all of 2018. But just April and September of this year alone, it removed 3.2 billion, twice as many as in the entirety of 2018. The transparency account that came along with the announcement also revealed that Facebook shut down seven million instances of hate speech between July and September. That’s in part due to the company’s new AI-powered content flagging algorithm approach to blocking hate speech on the platform.
Facebook also noted that they have improved their ability to discover and block attempts at creating fake and abusive accounts over the past two quarters. The company wrote, “We can estimate that every day, we prevent millions of attempts to create fake accounts using these detection systems. Because we are blocking more attempts to create fake, abusive accounts before they are even created, there are fewer for us to disable and, thus, accounts actioned has declined since Q1 2019”.