Facebook removed 2.2 billion fake accounts in three months

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Facebook took down 2.2 billion fake accounts between January and March, a record high for the company.

That number is only slightly less than the 2.38 billion monthly active users Facebook has around the world. For comparison, Facebook (FB) disabled 1.2 billion fake accounts in the previous quarter and 694 million between October and December 2017.

The new numbers were released Thursday in the company’s third Community Standards Enforcement report. Facebook will begin releasing this report quarterly starting next year, rather than twice a year, and start including Instagram.

“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 on a call with reporters on Thursday about the report. “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.”

In another blog post shared Thursday, Facebook VP of Analytics Alex Schultz explained some of the reasons behind the sharp increase in fake accounts. He said one factor is “simplistic attacks,” which he claims don’t represent real harm or even a real risk of harm.

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