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Facebook removes 3B fake accounts, but how many missed?

May 23, 2019 - 12:07 pm
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By Barbara Ortutay, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook says it removed more than 3 billion fake accounts from October to March, twice as many as the previous six months.

What Facebook's new report Thursday doesn't say, though, is how many it also missed.

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The increase shows the challenges Facebook faces in removing accounts created by computers to spread spam, fake news and other objectionable material. Even as Facebook's detection tools get better, so do the efforts by the creators of these fake accounts.

Facebook says most of the fake accounts were blocked "within minutes" of their creation, before someone saw and reported them to the company.

Facebook has 2.4 billion active monthly users. Most of the removed accounts won't count in this figure. Still, the company estimates that 5% of its monthly active users are fake.

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