By Don Reisinger
May 15, 2018

Facebook on Tuesday released numbers on the kinds of content—and how much of it—the company has removed in recent months. And the data is staggering.

In the first quarter of 2018, Facebook removed 2.5 million pieces of hate speech from its social network. Just 38% of that content was “flagged” by the company’s automated technology, requiring the remaining content to be discovered and flagged by humans. Facebook’s technology did a better job of finding graphic violence and automatically identified 86% of the 3.5 million pieces of that kind of content that was removed during the period.

Moving on, Facebook said that it removed 21 million pieces of content that depicted adult nudity and sexual activity and 96% of that was discovered by its technology before a user reported the content. Facebook said that for every 10,000 pieces of content on the service, seven to nine views were made on content that in some way violates its pornography regulations.

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Spam continues to be a problem at Facebook and a whopping 837 million pieces were removed from its service during the first quarter. Luckily for Facebook, nearly all of that content was scrubbed from the social network by its technology.

Fake accounts disabled during the first quarter hit 583 million, and the majority of them were removed “within minutes of registration,” Facebook reported. Facebook also stops millions of fake accounts from even signing up for its service each day. However, the company estimates that between 3% and 4% of the active accounts on its service are fake. Facebook has more than 2 billion monthly active users, suggesting there are still millions of fake accounts on its service at any given time.

Facebook released the data not to brag, but instead, the company said in a statement that it’s offering up its statistics so users can judge its performance themselves.

“We believe that increased transparency tends to lead to increased accountability and responsibility over time, and publishing this information will push us to improve more quickly too,” Facebook vice president of product management Guy Rosen wrote in a statement. He added that Facebook welcomes feedback to the data.

The data’s release comes at a tumultuous time for Facebook as the company grapples with privacy concerns following the revelation earlier this year that information on millions of its users was obtained by former political consulting company Cambridge Analytica. Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg subsequently apologized for the data leak.

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