Facebook is slipping after announcing it disabled more 583 million fake accounts

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Along with fake accounts, Facebook said in its transparency report that it had removed 21 million pieces of content featuring sex or nudity, 2.5 million pieces of hate speech and nearly 2 million items related to terrorism by Al Qaida and ISIS in the first quarter of 2018.

837 million pieces of Spam were detected and removed during the first quarter, up 15% on the previous period, while 583 million fake accounts were disabled, a reduction of 16%.

Facebook disabled about 583 million fake accounts in Q1, most of which "were disabled within minutes of registration".

Facebook also disclosed that it disabled almost 1.3 billion fake accounts in the six months ending in March.

The information from Facebook comes a few weeks after the company unveiled internal guidelines about what is - and isn't - allowed on the social network.

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[Image: courtesy of Facebook]"We aim to reduce violations to the point that our community doesn't regularly experience them", Rosen and vice president of data analytics Alex Schultz write in the report.

During Q1, Facebook found and flagged 85.6% of such content it took action on before users reported it, up from 71.6% in Q4.

But hate speech is a problem for Facebook today, as the company's struggle to stem the flow of fake news and content meant to encourage violence against Muslims in Myanmar has shown. Facebook had 2.2 billion monthly active users in the first-quarter of 2018, according to its latest earnings press release. It said it estimates that between 7 and 9 views out of every 10,000 pieces of content viewed on the social media platform were of content that violated the company's adult nudity and pornography standards.

Facebook took down 3.4 million pieces of graphic violence during the first three months of this year, almost triple the 1.2 million during the previous three months.

"For serious issues like graphic violence and hate speech, our technology still doesn't work that well and so it needs to be checked by our review teams", Mr Rosen said.

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Still, while Rosen said its systems leave more to be desired at the moment, Facebook removed 2.5 million pieces of content, 38 percent of which was flagged by its technology.

Facebook says AI has played an increasing role in flagging this content.

The amount of content moderated by Facebook is influenced by both the company's ability to find and act on infringing material, and the sheer quantity of items posted by users.

The report and the methods it details are Facebook's first step toward sharing how they plan to safeguard the news feed in the future. Rosen added that the reviewers will speak 50 languages in order to be able to understand as much context as possible about content since, in many cases, context is everything in determining if something is, say, a racial epithet aimed at someone, or a self-referential comment.

"All of this is under development. And it's created to make it easy for scholars, policymakers and community groups to give us feedback so that we can do better over time".

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The Silicon Valley social networking giant announced on Tuesday that it will publish data about the scale and effectiveness of its content moderation efforts - offering outsiders an unprecedented look at Facebook's efforts to keep its platform free from objectionable, rule-breaking, and sometimes illegal content. To that end, the company is scheduling summits around the globe to discuss this topic, starting Tuesday in Paris. Summits are expected later in the year in India, Singapore and the US.

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