This week, Facebook released one of its semi-annual reports laying out how many fake accounts the company has recently removed. And this time, the number is truly astonishing. According to the social media giant, it took down 1.3 billion fake accounts between October and December 2020 alone.
In the report, Facebook said that it has taken action against “deceptive behavior” by disrupting the financial model that bad actors have profited from. It spelled out the many features it has introduced over the past year to curb the spread of dangerous misinformation. And the company defended its own monetization model, strongly pushing back against the idea that the platform profits from false content.
“Despite all of these efforts, there are some who believe that we have a financial interest in turning a blind eye to misinformation. The opposite is true,” Facebook VP of integrity Guy Rosen wrote in a blog post. “We have every motivation to keep misinformation off of our apps and we’ve taken many steps to do so at the expense of user growth and engagement.”
No matter what Facebook says, it’s hard to argue that the company profits when users are more engaged — and misinformation has been shown to accomplish that. So while the company may have good intentions when it comes to getting rid of this content, it’s also reaping the benefits at the same time.
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