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Facebook pulls down over 3 billion fake accounts

Facebook pulled down more than 3 billion fake accounts from October to March, a report released Thursday by the social network shows.

That’s a record amount of fake account takedowns by the social media company, which estimates that about 5% of its monthly active users are fake. About 2.38 billion people worldwide log into the social network every month.

“For fake accounts, the amount of accounts we took action on increased due to automated attacks by bad actors who attempt to create large volumes of accounts at one time,” said Guy Rosen, Facebook’s VP Integrity in a blog post.

For the first time, the company also released data about how much content was appealed and restored along with information about the amount of posts the company took action on for attempting to sell products that aren’t allowed on the platform such as drugs and firearms.

On Thursday, the Facebook Data Transparency Advisory Group (DTAG), an independent group of experts established last year,  also released their review of how Facebook enforces and reports on its Community Standards.  Overall, the advisory group found that Facebook’ system for enforcing its community standards and its review process — which includes a combination of automated and human review — is well designed.

The group still made 15 recommendations for the site, which Facebook said fell under three categories. DTAG asked for more metrics to show the social media site’s efforts to enforce its policies. The metrics would include how accurate the enforcement was and how often people disagree with Facebook’s decisions. Facebook should also better explain its current metrics —  what type of violation is most common, how much content is removed and more. The group also wants Facebook to make it easier for users to stay up to date on policy changes and let them “have a greater voice” in what content isn’t okay to be on the site.

“We thank the Data Transparency Advisory Group for their time, their rigorous review and their thoughtful recommendations that will help inform our efforts as we enforce our standards and bring more transparency to this work,” Radha Iyengar Plumb, head of product policy research for Facebook, said in the blog post.

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