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Facebook Removed Three Billion Fake Accounts Over Six Months

Facebook removed more than three billion fake accounts between October 2018 and March 2019, showing a spike in suspicious activity on the platform largely attributable to bad actors creating many fake profiles at once, the company announced today. The uptick in fake accounts on the platform shows that Facebook continues to fight an uphill battle against people seeking to abuse the platform, suggesting its problems are far from being solved.

The three billion figure is part of a transparency report from Facebook, in which it also said that it removed or labeled 11.1 million pieces of terrorist content, 52.3 million instances of violent or graphic content and 7.3 million items with hate speech over the six month period. Facebook also took down 1.4 million pieces of content related to sales of guns or gun parts and 1.5 million pieces of content having to do with drugs (a small portion was restored after appeals by Facebook users).

Speaking on a call with reporters, CEO Mark Zuckerberg also said breaking up Facebook—which some political figures, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, have proposed—would give the company fewer resources to deal with problems and defend against attackers.

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