San Francisco, California: Social media giant Facebook Inc. (FB) has removed more than 3 billion fake accounts from October 2018 to March 2019, the company says.
About 2.38 billion users worldwide access Facebook every month and about 5% of them are of dubious origin. The latest takedown is twice as many as the previous six months.
Of the 3.4 billion accounts removed in the six-month period, 1.2 billion were removed in the fourth quarter of 2018 and 2.2 billion in the first quarter of 2019. The company said that over 99 percent of these were deleted before someone reported them to the company. In the April-September period last year, Facebook blocked 1.5 billion accounts.
“For fake accounts, the amount 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,” said Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president for integrity, in a blog post.
Facebook faces a huge challenge to takedown these fake accounts, which are created by computers to spread spam, fake news and other objectionable material. Facebook employs thousands of people to review posts, photos, comments and videos for violations.
“The health of the discourse is just as important as any financial reporting we do, so we should do it just as frequently,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, CNN reports. “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.”
FB is currently trading at $180.00, down $5.32 or 2.87%, on the Nasdaq.