Billions of Fake Accounts on Facebook Nixes


Wednesday’s Facebook reported that this year, around 5.4 billion fake accounts were taken down in an indication of the ongoing fight against manipulation and misinformation in social media.

Facebook said that it increased its defenses and often deleted accounts within minutes after creation, with increasing efforts to create fraudulent accounts.

“We have improved our ability to recognize and block attempts to create fake, unfair accounts,” the internet company said.

Facebook believes that fake accounts— where anyone claims to be a nonexistent person or entity — accounted for approximately five per cent of its globally active users during the second and second quarters of this year. “We can estimate that, every day, we prevent millions of attempts to create fake account using those detector systems.”

The social network has invested heavily in finding and reporting information to deceive people, especially when spreading information through coordinated campaigns with political or social agendas.

The detailed report also showed that government demand for user information has reached a new high in the United States.

In the first half of this year, overall demand from governments for Facebook user information rose by 16 percent to 128,617.

“The US continues to submit the highest number of requests for the total volume, followed by India, Britain, Germany and France,” stated the report.

Facebook received 50,741 requests from the US for data on 82,461 accounts, with nearly two thirds of the requests made to prevent the social network from informing users, as shown by the document.

“We also review the government application we receive to ensure its legal validity of account data,” Facebook Deputy Advisor General Chris Sonderby said about the latest figures in an online post.

“This is true regardless of which government demands.”

Curbing trouble

Facebook also highlights progress in the fight against terror, hate, suicide, child p o r n and drugs in a details transparency report that first included a photo and video social network, Instagram.

“These systems are not flawless, but we are pleased with this development, and we know errors can still occur,” Facebook said.

“We continue to invest in systems to enhance our accuracy by removing content which contravenes our policies, while preserving content which addresses or opposes hate speeches.” Facebook Chief Mark Zuckerberg and other managers stressed in a conference call which talked about the study that combined company assets allowed the company to better tackle unwanted content and activities

Zuckerberg answered the political rhetoric calling for the breakdown of Facebook by arguing, partly, that such a move would make it harder to tackle issues such as bad content or activities.

“This is something in which we spend billions of dollars every year,” Zuckerberg said of battling to protect Facebook for users.

Zuckerberg repeated his demand for legislation calling on all Internet companies publicly to disclose information on the efficacy of efforts to stop the dissemination of offensive content on their sites.

“We cannot stop it if we can not understand the true prevalence of harmful content across systems,” said Zuckerberg.

During questions in the field, Zuckerberg confirmed that Facebook is looking at ways in which it could modify its controversial policy of allowing proven political ads.

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.