Social Media

Twitter has started taking a tougher stance on fake bots and online abuse

Popular social media website Twitter has said it is taking steps to address fake accounts that are often used to post spam, fakes news, or abuse as well as taking tougher action against online trolls.

A blog post on the company’s site explained that it is already paying dividends.

In May 2018, our systems identified and challenged more than 9.9 million potentially spammy or automated accounts per week. That’s up from 6.4 million in December 2017, and 3.2 million in September.

Due to technology and process improvements during the past year, we are now removing 214% more accounts for violating our spam policies on a year-on-year basis.

At the same time, the average number of spam reports we received through our reporting flow continued to drop — 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% 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.

Users will now be required to confirm an email address, or phone number when they sign up to the site, though some exceptions will be allowed such as for those that require anonymity for their own safety.

We will be working closely with our Trust & Safety Council and other expert NGOs to ensure this change does not hurt someone in a high-risk environment where anonymity is important. Look for this to roll out later this year.

High-profile Twitter accounts may notice a decrease in their follower account as it begins to remove spammy accounts that tend to auto-follow popular profiles.

The Verge has also noted that Twitter has been taking robust action against abuse behavior, something that the site has had increasing problems with. Earlier this year, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey admitted that the company didn’t fully grasp the abuse problem.

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