Skip to main content

Facebook says it has removed more than three billion fake accounts over a six-month period ending in March.Dado Ruvic/Reuters

Facebook says it removed more than three billion fake accounts from October to March, twice as many as the previous six months.

Most of these fake accounts were blocked “within minutes” of their creation. But an increase of “automated attacks” by bad actors means not only that it caught more of the fake accounts, but that more of them slipped through.

The company estimates that 5 per cent of its 2.4 billion monthly active users are fake accounts. This is up from an estimated 3 per cent to 4 per cent in the previous six-month report.

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.