Facebook axed 583 million fake accounts, enforcing standards

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook Inc said it took down 583 million fake profiles in the first three months of the year, usually within minutes of their creation.

The social network also scrubbed 837 million pieces of spam and acted on 2.5 million instances of hate speech, it said on Tuesday in its firstever report on how effectively it’s enforcing community standards.

Facebook came under intense scrutiny earlier this year over the use of private data and the impact of harmful content on its 2.2 billion monthly users, with governments around the world questioning the company’s policies. Tuesday’s report, which will come out twice a year, can also show how well Facebook’s artificial intelligence systems learn to flag items that violate the rules before anyone on the site can see them.

The conclusion from the first metrics: some problems are better suited to computerized solutions than others. Almost 100% of the spam and 96% of the adult nudity was flagged for takedown, with the help of technology, before any Facebook users complained about it. But only 38% of hate speech was noticed by the AI. Hate speech is harder to deal with because computers often can’t understand the meaning of a sentence such as the difference between someone using a racial slur to attack somebody, and someone telling a story about that slur.

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