After facing a lot of criticism recently, especially during the US Presidential elections, Facebook is cracking down on fake news and fake accounts. The company announced on Wednesday that it is implementing system-wide changes to crack down on fake accounts that spread fake news and cause mayhem.
Facebook aims to do so by recognizing patterns of activity which point towards an account being fake such as someone repeatedly posting the same content. These changes have already proved successful. They have allowed the company to recognize and eliminate more than 30,000 fake accounts in France.
In documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2016, Facebook estimated that fake/duplicate accounts represented approximately 1% of its active user base. Considering the fact that the social networking platform has 1.89 billion monthly active users, there are still a lot of fake accounts out there which need eradication.
The fake news became an issue of contention during the US Presidential elections when various allegations were levied at Facebook claiming that fake news shared on the social networking platform helped Donald Trump win the elections.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg compared the fake news issue to how click bait articles used to thrive on the social network. The company successfully tackled the issue by introducing tools which studied the community and recognized patterns in order to distinguish click bait articles from the rest.
Shabnam Shaik, a technical program manager at Facebook, wrote in a Facebook post –“By constantly improving our techniques, we also aim to reduce the financial incentives for spammers who rely on distribution to make their efforts worthwhile.”
This comes hot on the heels of Facebook announcing its intention to clamp down on the sharing of revenge porn on its various services. Facebook aims to detect such images/videos through its image recognition software and consequently prevent further attempts to share the image on Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram.