fbpx
Social Media

Twitter’s Efforts To Suspend Fake Accounts Have Doubled Since Last Year

Bots, your days of tweeting politically divisive nonsense might be numbered. The Washington Post reported Friday that in the last few months Twitter has aggressively suspended accounts in an effort to stem the spread of disinformation running rampant on its platform.

The Washington Post reports that Twitter suspended as many as 70 million accounts between May and June of this year, with no signs of slowing down in July. According to data obtained by the Post, the platform suspended 13 million accounts during a weeklong spike of bot banning activity in mid-May.

Sources tell the Post that the uptick in suspensions is tied to the company’s efforts to comply with scrutiny from the congressional investigation into Russian disinformation on social platforms. The report adds that Twitter investigates bots and other fake accounts through an internal project known as “Operation Megaphone” through which it buys suspicious accounts and then investigates their connections.

Twitter declined to provide additional information about The Washington Post report, but pointed us to a blog post from last week in which it disclosed other numbers related to its bot-hunting efforts. In May of 2018, Twitter identified more than 9.9 million suspicious accounts — triple its efforts in late 2017.

Twitter Chart

When Twitter identifies an account that it deems suspicious, it then “challenges” that account, giving legitimate Twitter users an opportunity to prove their sentience by confirming a phone number. When an account fails this test it gets the boot, while accounts that pass are reinstated.

As Twitter noted in its recent blog post, bots can make users look good by artificially inflating follower counts.

“As a result of these improvements, some people may notice their own account metrics change more regularly,” Twitter warned. The company noted that cracking down on fake accounts means that “malicious actors” won’t be able to promote their own content and accounts as easily by inflating their own numbers. Kicking users off a platform, fake or not, is a risk for a company that regularly reports its monthly active users, though only a temporary one.

As the report notes, at least one insider expects Twitter’s Q2 active user numbers to dip, reflecting its shift in enforcement. Still, any temporary user number setback would prove nominal for a platform that should focus on healthy user growth. Facebook is facing a similar reckoning as a result of the Russian bot scandal, as the company anticipates user engagement stats to dip as it moves to emphasize quality user experiences over juiced-up quarterly numbers. In both cases, it’s a worthy trade-off.

This story originally appeared in TechCrunch. Image courtesy of Bloomberg/Getty Images.

Join The Discussion

At Least 70 Killed In Major Bangladesh Fire
At Least 70 Killed In Major Bangladesh Fire [Video]
Trump Ends Shutdown, Signs Bill To Reopen Government
Trump Ends Shutdown, Signs Bill To Reopen Government [Video]
Melbourne Expecting 44C As Victoria Faces Hottest Day Since Black Saturday
Melbourne Expecting 44C As Victoria Faces Hottest Day Since Black Saturday
Maduro Rival Guaido Claims Venezuela Presidency
Maduro Rival Guaido Claims Venezuela Presidency [Video]
Onecoin Is Ashes But Investigations Continue To This Day
‘Bitcoin Killer’ Onecoin Is Ashes But Investigations Continue To This Day
Cryptocurrency Market Volumes Reach Nine-Month High
Cryptocurrency Market Volumes Reach Nine-Month High
United Kingdom Does Not See Utility Token As Securities
United Kingdom Does Not See Utility Token As Securities
How To Put Crypto In Everyone’s Pocket In 2019
How To Put Crypto In Everyone’s Pocket In 2019
The Future Of Online Shopping
The Future Of Online Shopping
10 Marketing Trends To Watch In 2019
10 Marketing Trends To Watch In 2019
40+ Video Marketing Statistics For 2019
40+ Video Marketing Statistics For 2019 [Infographic]
Emerging Email Marketing Trends To Survive 2019 And Beyond
Emerging Email Marketing Trends To Survive 2019 And Beyond [Infographic]
YouTube Introduces One-Time Warning, New Strike Penalties
YouTube Introduces One-Time Warning, New Strike Penalties [Video]
The Latest Social Media Automation Rules In 2019
The Latest Social Media Automation Rules In 2019
4 Tips To Help You With The Constant Changes In Social Media
4 Tips To Help You With The Constant Changes In Social Media
Instagram's Testing Side-Scrolling Feed View, Similar To Stories
Instagram’s Testing Side-Scrolling Feed View, Similar To Stories
9 Questions To Ask Your Network To Help You Find Your Path
9 Questions To Ask Your Network To Help You Find Your Path
What Is Your Therapist Listening For
What Is Your Therapist Listening For?
Wish You Were Smarter
Wish You Were Smarter? These 4 Brain Hacks Can Help You Get There
Weightlifting Less Than An Hour Per Week Could Increase Your Longevity
Weightlifting Less Than An Hour Per Week Could Increase Your Longevity
At Least 70 Killed In Major Bangladesh Fire
At Least 70 Killed In Major Bangladesh Fire [Video]
YouTube Introduces One-Time Warning, New Strike Penalties
YouTube Introduces One-Time Warning, New Strike Penalties [Video]
Trump Ends Shutdown, Signs Bill To Reopen Government
Trump Ends Shutdown, Signs Bill To Reopen Government [Video]
Samsung Galaxy S10 Bitcoin Wallet Leaked By Insider
Samsung Galaxy S10 Bitcoin Wallet Leaked By Insider [Video]