Facebook, like Google, is constantly tweaking its algorithms to address friction points and generally make its services easier to use. Along with fake news, spam is a major concern for the social network and the focus of some technical changes we’ve recently been made aware of.
Shabnam Shaik, a technical program manager on the Protect and Care Team at Facebook, explains in a recent post that people use the social network to make meaningful connections. This, she notes, is only possible when interactions are authentic and if people use their real names.
A side effect of having your true identity linked to your account is that it forces most people to act responsibly, (hopefully) mimicking their real-life behavior. Fake accounts, Shaik added, don’t follow this pattern and are closely related to the creation and spread of spam which is why they’re so focused on keeping them off the platform.
Facebook’s most recent effort includes making it easier to identify certain patterns of activity associated with fake accounts without having to look at the content said accounts are posting. Examples include repeated posts or an uptick in messages sent.
The improvements are already having an impact as Facebook has removed more than 30,000 fake accounts in France. The system isn’t perfect and fake accounts will still slip through the cracks but it’s certainly another step in the right direction.