May 24, 2019Published by: Drew Benvie

New data on fake content removed from Facebook shows 24 million accounts a day coming down

Overnight, Facebook published its latest report on content it has removed from the social network. Why is that so important?

A marked trend over the last 12 months on social media is the growth of anti-social, which was a cornerstone of Battenhall's 2019 trends report launched back in November, so this new set of data is key to understanding how social media use is developing and how this trend is affecting brands.

The anti-social trend is in fact two distinct, but connected areas, that are shaping our use of social media. Firstly there is the growth of private sharing on social, through groups, messaging apps and on stories. Facebook backed this up earlier in 2019 with a major announcement of its own, and private social is a key area to track.

The second part of anti-social is the increasing amount of content originating from bad actors on social media, and the efforts being put in by the social networks themselves to take down inappropriate content. This is where Facebook's new report sheds light on how anti-social is shaping up.

Facebook's new report shows that in the six months up to March 2019, 3 billion accounts were removed from Facebook for breaking 'community standards'. This includes accounts that were deemed fake or spam, but also those promoting harassment or propaganda.

The sheer size of the numbers, and the increase in volume of content deemed worthy of removal from Facebook is important to note. Should you not have been so aware that a considerable amount of content should not be allowed to stay up there, this new Facebook report is a clear marker. To illustrate with some of the numbers given by Facebook:

  • 2.19 billion fake accounts were removed in the first thee months of 2019 - these could for example be promoting fake content or opinions, which is a huge issue for brands an influencers alike.
  • 1.76 billion spam posts were removed in the first three months of 2019 - linked to the above.
  • There were exactly 90 days in the first three months of 2019, which means 19.5 million spam posts were removed from Facebook per day, and 24 million fake accounts removed per day, or 1 million per hour, which is over 16,000 per minute.

What this means for brands: listen and track for brand and figurehead content carefully, and ensure a system is in place to report content that should not be there - from fake accounts, fake content and impersonation, to profiles carrying out harassment, spam or IP infringements.

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