Facebook removed 1.6 billion fake accounts in just three months

Facebook (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Facebook has released its quarterly transparency report.
  • It reveals that the platform has removed an astonishing 1.6 billion fake accounts in just three months.
  • Nearly all of those were found by Facebook before they could be reported.

Facebook has released its new quarterly transparency report for Q1 22, revealing that the company removed 1.6 billion fake accounts from its platform in just three months from January to March.

The report is designed to show how Facebook is implementing its policies across 14 different areas on Facebook and 12 on Instagram. Areas include bullying and harassment, hate speech, spam, violence, and more.

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A hot topic in the social media world right now is fake/spam accounts, a sticking point in Elon Musk's proposed acquisition of Twitter. This week Musk said his deal to buy Twitter could not move forward without proof that less than 5% of the accounts on the platform are fake. Interestingly, Facebook estimates it has around the same number:

We estimate that fake accounts represented approximately 5% of our worldwide monthly active users (MAU) on Facebook during Q1 2022.

Facebook says its goal "is to remove as many fake accounts on Facebook as we can", prioritizing accounts that seek to cause harm through spam or financial motivations. Facebook's accounts actioned for Q1 2022 actually decreased to 1.6 billion, down from 1.7 billion in the last quarter of 2021. One comforting measure is that Facebook says it found and flagged these accounts in 99.70% of cases and that only a tiny fraction were actually found and reported by users.

Meta says that it can't currently provide similar metrics for fake accounts on Instagram.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9