Facebook removed nearly 3.4 billion fake accounts in 6 months.

Facebook chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg, pictured earlier this month in France, told reporters on Thursday that the tech giant is making nice strides in fighting hate speech and crime online.


Facebook says it removed 3.39 billion fake accounts from October to March. That’s double the amount of fraudulent accounts deleted in the previous six-month period.


In the company’s latest Community Standards enforcement Report, released Thursday, Facebook said nearly all of the fake accounts were caught by AI and more human observation. They also attributed the skyrocketing variety to “automated attacks by bad actors who attempt to create massive volumes of accounts at one time.”


The fake accounts are roughly a billion over the 2.4 billion actual people on Facebook worldwide, in line with the company’s own count.


“Most of those accounts were blocked within minutes of their creation before they could do any damage,” Facebook chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg told reporters in a call on Thursday.


While acknowledging that Facebook “knows that there’s tons of labor ahead,” Zuckerberg also touted the company’s progress in curbing hate speech and graphic violence across the platform.
“We are progressively catching it before people report it to us,” he said, adding that 65% of the hate speech on the site was removed before any users alerted the corporate. That’s a rise from about 24% a year ago, Zuckerberg said.


During the same period, Facebook identified about 83 of posts and comments making an attempt to sell drugs, before the corporate was informed regarding them, he added.


Facebook is facing variety of controversies on its platform together with election interference, misinformation and privacy concerns. And a growing range of critics, together with politicians and one of its co-founders are calling for the corporate to be broken up. They argue Facebook, which has acquired Instagram and WhatsApp in recent years, wields far too much power and incorporates a monopoly in the business (Facebook is among NPR’s financial supporters).


Chris Hughes, who co-founded the corporate in 2004, told NPR earlier this month that Zuckerberg “is unaccountable.”


“He’s unaccountable to his shareholders. He’s unaccountable to his users, and he’s unaccountable to government. And I assume that that’s basically un-American. And I suppose government should step up, break up the corporate and regulate it,” he said.
He added that the corporate “totally dominates the social networking area.”


“Of every dollar that’s spent on ads and social networking, 84 goes to Facebook,” Hughes said. “If you check up on the time spent on the site, you know, the average user is spending an hour on Facebook and another 53 minutes on Instagram, not to mention what they’re spending on WhatsApp.”


Dipayan Ghosh, co-director of the Platform accountability Project at Harvard University’s Kennedy school, previously served as Facebook’s privacy and policy adviser. “Without some form of public transparency into steps the corporate takes to take down nefarious accounts, we should not conclude it’s doing enough,” he told NPR.


But on Thursday, Zuckerberg argued the new report is proof of the company’s efforts to be clearer. He additionally declared that breaking up Facebook would only make it tougher to quash fake news and phony accounts across the site.