Despite recent enforcement actions, Facebook is still plagued by fake accounts, including thousands helping promote a far-right German political party.
Facebook announced this week it removed 2.19 billion fake accounts between January and March, its biggest-ever takedown of fakes in a single quarter. Company CEO Mark Zuckerberg confidently told media that “we’re taking down more fake accounts than ever.”
What he didn’t say is that there are also more active fake accounts on Facebook than there were six months ago — more than ever before. Facebook now says 5% of active accounts are fake, up from its previous estimate of 3% to 4%.
The sweep of more than 2 billion fake accounts, while impressive, mostly removed profiles at the point of creation. As Zuckerberg said, “they were never considered active in our systems and we don’t count them in any of our overall community metrics.”
So based on Facebook’s own key metric for measuring fake accounts, the problem is actually getting worse. People who investigate fake accounts on the platform also told BuzzFeed News that the company still fails to remove obvious fakes — even during critical periods, such as the ongoing European Parliament election.