Facebook deleted more than 1.5 billion fake accounts amid increasing govt data requests

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Social media giant Facebook released bi-annual Transparency Report revealing the company's efforts to curb the spread of misinformation and also details of the several country governments' requests for user data.

After stung by the negative publicity for poor handling of pre and post US Presidential 2016 elections, Facebook has increased the scrutiny of the user accounts particularly false impersonation, circulating fake news, hate speech, propagate violence via terrorism propaganda and other disorderly acts. With that, it has been able to deactivate more than 1.6 billion accounts from April to September, 200 million more than a previous six-month period.

For the first time, Facebook has also put the focus on bullying and online harassment for reasons to punish the culprits with deactivation. It has also taken down several millions of posts and videos on Facebook and also Instagram based on a violation of company policy such as adult nudity, content copyrights and intellectual property.

Besides that, Facebook also received record jump in government request for the user data across the world by record 26% and in India, it received 16,580 requests for user accounts and data, of which, around 53% were obliged after processing through company's strict policy and local law.

"Publishing this report reinforces our commitment to transparency. We're always working to improve our reporting in these areas and we look forward to making this report available in more than 15 different languages in early 2019," Chris Sonderby, VP & Deputy General Counsel, Facebook said in a statement.

The transparency report comes days after The New York Times published a scathing report on working environment of Facebook and it held no punches in targeting the CEO, Mark Zuckerberg and COO, Sheryl Sandberg's inability to handle Kremlin's interference of the US Presidential 2016 election.

It reported Facebook's boardroom developments in the aftermath of the mishandling of Russian funded advertisements on the social media platform and also after Tim Cook rebuked the latter for Cambridge Analytica user-data breach scandal, Zuckerberg apparently asked the company's executives to shun iPhones for Android mobiles.

To that, the company and also even Sandberg have posted a point-by-point rebuttal on Facebook of the NYT's article.

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