Facebook: 2.2b bogus accounts disabled in Q1

SAN FRANCISCO • Facebook said it recently disabled billions of bogus accounts set up by "bad actors" and that 5 per cent of active accounts are likely fake.

An estimate of how many of the online social network's accounts are fake and the actions taken against the creation of more during the first three months of this year were disclosed in Facebook's latest report on enforcement activity on Thursday.

Facebook disabled 2.19 billion accounts in the first quarter of this year, nearly double the number of accounts nixed in the prior three-month period, according to its vice-president of integrity Guy Rosen.

"The number of accounts we took action on increased due to automated attacks by bad actors who attempt to create large volumes of accounts at one time," Mr Rosen said.

The firm apparently disabled the accounts as automated imposters were trying to establish them.

Meanwhile, Facebook estimated that 5 per cent of its 2.4 billion monthly active users were fake accounts yet to be uncovered. The firm also said it has made progress in battling hate speech, automatically detecting 65 per cent of the content removed instead of needing to wait for users to report it. Facebook took down four million posts considered hate speech in the first quarter of this year, according to Mr Rosen.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 25, 2019, with the headline 'Facebook: 2.2b bogus accounts disabled in Q1'. Print Edition | Subscribe