Facebook removes a record 2.2B fake accounts

Facebook took down 2.2 billion fake accounts during the first quarter of 2019, the social media company announced on Thursday.

In addition, Facebook also said it disabled 1.2 billion fake accounts in the fourth quarter in 2018. The numbers are quite staggering when you consider that Facebook has 2.4 billion monthly users.

“Not only did they delete that 2.19 billion amount of fake accounts and admit to it, but instead they’re also saying that about 5 percent of the monthly users 2.83 billion is the total, that those are also not real accounts,” Kurt Knutsson, the cyber guy, said on FOX Business’ “Mornings with Maria” Friday.

On Thursday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on a call with reporters, “The health of the discourse is just as important as any financial reporting we do, so we should do it just as frequently. Understanding the prevalence of harmful content will help companies and governments design better systems for dealing with it. I believe every major internet service should do this.”

Facebook also released a transparency report, which now includes data on appeals and content restored, as well as data on regulated goods. In it, the company reemphasized how its machine learning and Facebook AI inclusive portal camera augmented reality have proactively detected more than 95 percent of harmful content before being reported by users, including spam, fake accounts and terrorist propaganda.

That being said, Facebook still has work to do in the hate speech area where only 65 percent of the content is being proactively detected and then removed. That's a 24 percent increase over a year ago.

“I don’t think you can trust all the data coming out from them, so if you wanna argue that they’ve been sitting around for five seconds, they do have very strong AI technology now that can step this stuff out and snap it off the platform pretty quickly, but in this case, there is no certainty how long those accounts were there,” Knutsson said. “They’re not reporting that information, and while that device may be really good at capturing, it’s not very good at capturing what he’s promised to reduce which is hate speech on Facebook platform.”

How will it effect Facebook on the bottom line long term?

“Those numbers were used inside of advertising, we’ve yet to see if that will affect the ad revenue coming in at Facebook. What’s unusual here is that he’s actually coming out and talking about it,” Knutsson said. “I think they’re realizing that they can continue having all these sorts of issues on privacy or fake accounts online and that’s simply going to road the authenticity of your experience in that platform. This is what Facebook is today.”


Zuckerberg also told reporters Thursday that, although Facebook is making progress in combating harmful content and fake accounts, it needs to do better.

Knutsson believes there’s a trust issue with Facebook and the responsibility falls on Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg need to do something about it.

“Sheryl Sandberg and Zuckerberg have a lot of work to do in that (trust) area.”