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Facebook removes 3.4 billion fake accounts

Facebook has removed 3.4 billion fake accounts from the social media network in the past six months.

The accounts were wiped out between October 2018 and March 2019 and Mark Zuckerberg's company has vowed to continue finding ways to "counter attempts to violate" their policies.

Facebook VP Guy Rose said in a blog post: "For fake accounts, the amount of accounts we took action on increased due to automated attacks by bad actors who attempt to create large volumes of accounts at one time.

"We'll continue to find more ways to counter attempts to violate our policies and Alex Schultz explains more about how we address fake accounts in a Hard Questions blog we've also shared today."

The crack down on fake accounts comes after the UK government announced their plans to enforce consequences upon social media and online sites that don't tackle "online harms".

Apps could be heavily fined or blocked in the country if they do not regulate hate crimes and abuse, such as revenge pornography and terrorist content, the Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright warned.

He said: "The era of self-regulation for online companies is over.

"Voluntary actions from industry to tackle online harms have not been applied consistently or gone far enough."

On what penalties they could face, he added: "If you look at the fines available to the Information Commissioner around the GDPR rules, that could be up to 4% of company's turnover... we think we should be looking at something comparable here."

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