Facebook deletes 583m accounts to combat fake news

Facebook has deleted 583 million fake accounts at registration in efforts to combat spread of fake news and cyber terrorism.

The Facebook, Head of Public Policy, ASEAN, Malaysia and Singapore, Alvin Tan made the disclosure on a panel discussion at the on-going International Media Conference in Singapore.

According Tan, about 99 percent of accounts linked or identified with the terrorist group, Islamic State of Iraq and Levante (ISIL) have also been deleted by the Social Media Platform.

The Facebook boss lamented that the social media platform has never relented in taking measures to ensure safety of its users but no single effort might be enough to achieve greater result. He also disclosed that Facebook has in place a third party fact-checkers in different regions of the world and ensure reduction in distribution of any controversial opinion expressed and which is confirmed to be falsehood by the third party fact-checkers.
“Actions are being taken but no single is ever going to be enough. Reports show that 2.2 billion people use Facebook on monthly basis and in the first quarter of this year, 583 million fake accounts were deleted at registration,” Tan said.
The Public Policy Head said while the social media platform has a check of rules that include non allowance of terrorism, pornography and child exploitations posts, it often runs into challenge on how best to deal with a post expressed inform of an opinion or a satire.
“It is really a challenge to want to be associate with diversity in different countries while at the same time be a global company with a universal global. Thus, when someone for instance, posts an opinion we understand to be offensive in a particular country or region, we make sure such a post cannot be accessible in the country where it is deemed to be offensive.
However, such can be made available in other countries where it is not so considered as offensive. But before we do that, we do approach courts of law to obtain orders to justify that such a post is truly illegal,” Tan said.
On fake news distribution on WhatsApp, another social media platform with Facebook, Tan said the management has been encouraging users in their respective countries, who regard such posts or circulating messages as offensive to report to security operatives in their countries.

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