Facebook Says It Has Shut Down 5.4 Billion Fake Accounts This Year

November 13, 2019 Updated: November 13, 2019

Facebook announced it has shut down 5.4 billion fake accounts between January and September of 2019.

In the social media firm’s new Community Standards Enforcement report, released on Wednesday, Facebook revealed that the fake accounts it removed encompassed about 5 percent of the platform’s active users.

The 5.4 billion figure is compared to roughly 3.3 billion fake accounts that were removed in all of 2018.

A Facebook graph shows the number of fake accounts removed so far (Facebook)

“We estimate that fake accounts represented approximately 5% of our worldwide monthly active users (MAU) on Facebook during Q2 and Q3 2019. There are two types of accounts we identify as fake: abusive and user-misclassified,” Facebook wrote.

The Menlo Park, California-based firm said that over the past six months or so, it has improved its “ability to detect and block attempts to create fake, abusive accounts. 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. Of the accounts we actioned, the majority were caught within minutes of registration, before they became a part of our monthly active user (MAU) population,” it wrote.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the removal of fake accounts shows the company is taking the issue to heart.

“Because our numbers are high doesn’t mean there’s that much more harmful content. It just means we’re working harder to identify this content and that’s why it’s higher,” he said on a conference call, CNN reported.

Facebook Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg (L) testifies before the House Financial Services Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Oct. 23, 2019. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

What’s more, the company stated that it proactively detected content affiliated with terrorist organizations 98.5 percent of the time on Facebook and about 92.2 percent of the time on Instagram, Reuters reported.

Facebook also removed more than 11.6 million pieces of content that dealt with child nudity and the sexual exploitation of children, the report said.

In a blog post, Facebook also said it took down millions of pieces that violated copyrights.

“During this reporting period, we took down 3,234,393 pieces of content based on 568,836 copyright reports, 255,222 pieces of content based on 96,501 trademark reports and 821,727 pieces of content based on 101,582 counterfeit reports,” the firm wrote.

RECOMMENDED