This article was published on April 14, 2017

Facebook wages war on dummy accounts in an effort to curb fake news

Facebook wages war on dummy accounts in an effort to curb fake news

As someone who uses a dummy account to avoid annoying acquaintances and cringy exchanges with the fam, I know that Facebook’s problem with fake accounts is real – but now the social media giant is taking action to protect the integrity of its platform.

In a note posted yesterday, the company announced it’s introducing a slew of improvements to its security and integrity systems to make it easier to monitor for suspicious accounts as well as curb the spread of misinformation.

“We’ve found that when people represent themselves on Facebook the same way they do in real life, they act responsibly,” Facebook’s security team wrote. “Fake accounts don’t follow this pattern, and are closely related to the creation and spread of spam.”

The new changes will help the social media titan detect fake accounts more efficiently. “We’ve made improvements to recognize these inauthentic accounts more easily by identifying patterns of activity — without assessing the content itself.”

Such patterns might refer to repeated posting of the same content or unusual spikes in communication activity.

The initiative expands on Facebook’s previous efforts to battle fake news and thwart botnets from inflating the value of certain posts with fake likes.

The new improvements have so far enabled the website to purge over 30,000 inauthentic accounts in France, but chances are the number will swiftly grow once the updated security systems kick in worldwide.

But while the move towards boosted security measures will likely decrease the overall spread of fake accounts, the new implementation also poses a risk to numerous authentic accounts that might accidentally get caught up in the mix for no reason – which is why Facebook needs to address this adequately.

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