Facebook has deleted millions of spam posts and fake accounts

Posted May 16, 2018

Facebook released its Community Standards Enforcement Preliminary Report on Tuesday, providing a look at the social network's methods for tracking content that violates its standards, how it responds to those violations, and how much content the company has recently removed.

The numbers were disclosed in a report Tuesday that breakdown how much material Facebook removes for violating service terms.

The majority of these Facebook posts dealt with nudity, propaganda, graphic violence, terrorism and hate speech, among other negative content.

An estimated 3 to 4 percent of Facebook accounts were fake accounts, the company said.

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In its first public release of such data, Facebook said that of every 10,000 pieces of content viewed on the social platform in the first quarter, an estimated 22 to 27 pieces contained graphic violence, up from an estimate of 16 to 19 late previous year, Reuters reports.

- Facebook took enforcement action against 21 million posts containing nudity. Furthermore, 2.5 million pieces of hate speech were removed although Rosen concedes that Facebook's technology still has some work to do in this category as only 38 percent was flagged automatically.

"We have a lot of work still to do to prevent abuse", Facebook Product Management vice president Guy Rosen said. The company has come under fire for failing to remove content that has incited ethnic violence in Myanmar, leading Facebook to hire more Burmese speakers.

Facebook's technology is good at removing nudity and violence, but not at removing hate speech.

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The report comes in the face of increasing criticism about how Facebook controls the content it shows to users, though the company was clear to highlight that its new methods are evolving and aren't set in stone, CNET's Parker reports. Facebook said that Zuckerberg "has no plans to travel to the United Kingdom", said Damian Collins, the leader of the UK's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, in a statement Tuesday. And more generally, as I explained last week, technology needs large amounts of training data to recognize meaningful patterns of behavior, which we often lack in less widely used languages or for cases that are not often reported.

"We believe that increased transparency tends to lead to increased accountability and responsibility over time, and publishing this information will push us to improve more quickly too", wrote Rosen.

"Today's report gives you a detailed description of our internal processes and data methodology". Still, the fact that there are many issues with the way the company runs the social media platform doesn't detract from the fact that they are taking efforts to make the network a more inviting place that meshes with their content guidelines.

All told, Facebook took action on almost 1.6 billion pieces of content during the six months ending in March, a tiny fraction of all the activity on its social network, according to the company.

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