This week saw the release of Facebook’s quarterly transparency report for the first three months of 2022, and it makes for interesting reading, especially on the backdrop of the recent intensifying discussions about fake accounts on social networks.
Over the January to March period, Facebook’s parent company Meta said that it had removed 1.6 billion fake accounts from its platform.
The firm said that on Facebook during the first quarter, it took action on 1.8 billion pieces of spam content, which was up from the 1.2 billion during 2021’s fourth quarter. The company blamed this increase on “a small number of users making a large volume of violating posts”.
Meta’s Community Standards Enforcement Report is meant to show how the firm is exercising its policies across various areas of both Facebook and Instagram, with issues of focus including bullying and harassment, hate speech, and spam.
Certainly, there has been a lot of talk about fake or ‘spam’ accounts on social media platforms lately, with Elon Musk having made it a point of contention in the ongoing ‘will he, won’t he’ saga surrounding his possible acquisition of Twitter.
The Tesla CEO stated earlier this week that he could not proceed with buying the microblogging platform until he received proof that less than 5% of Twitter accounts are fake.
This makes it all the more intriguing that Meta has estimated Facebook has around the same proportion of fake accounts – 5% – as of the first quarter of 2022.
Meta has said that it aims to remove as many fake accounts as possible from its platforms, with a particular focus on accounts that try to cause harm through spam or financial motivations.