Suspending fake accounts to impact Twitter’s growth: Report

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Washington, July 7 (IANS) To counter the spread of misinformation on its platform, Twitter is suspending over one million fake and suspicious accounts a day which may further hit its already-stalled users’ growth, the media reported.

According to The Washington Post, the rate of account suspensions has more than doubled since October when the micro-blogging platform revealed to US Congress how the Russians used fake accounts to manipulate the 2016 presidential election.

More than 70 million accounts were suspended in May and June, the report said on Friday.

Twitter currently has nearly 330 million monthly active users (MAUs).

Removing accounts could lead to a drop in the number of MAUs in the second quarter, claimed the report.

A Twitter representative told CNET that its “ongoing information quality efforts”, along with other factors, were impacting the number of MAUs.

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“MAU may continue to be negatively impacted in future periods due to our ongoing information quality efforts, GDPR, and other operational decisions,” the report said quoting Twitter.

The wave of account suspensions by the world’s largest social network is one of several recent campaigns by Twitter to police its platform and stop spam and abuse of fake accounts.

The micro-blogging platform said that in May, its systems identified and challenged more than 9.9 million potentially “spammy” or automated accounts per week — up from 6.4 million in December and 3.2 million in September 2017.

“Due to technology and process improvements during the past year, we are now removing 214 per cent more accounts for violating our spam policies on a year-on-year basis,” Twitter informed last week.

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Twitter saw a drop in the average number of spam reports — from an average of approximately 25,000 per day in March, to approximately 17,000 per day in May.

“We’ve also seen a 10 per cent drop in spam reports from search as a result of our recent changes. These decreases in reports received means people are encountering less spam in their timeline, search, and across the Twitter product,” the company said.

“We’re also moving rapidly to curb spam and abuse originating via Twitter’s APIs. In Q1 2018, we suspended more than 142,000 applications in violation of our rules — collectively responsible for more than 130 million low-quality, spammy tweets,” the company said.

–IANS

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