Sunday July 22, 2018
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Prepare Yourself: You’re Going to Lose Some of Your Twitter followers

In a tweet, Twitter CFO Ned Segal refuted the report, saying it will not affect the number of Twitter's users which currently stands at 330 million

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But if you are a celebrity or a public figure, you are set to lose more followers with this exercise. Pixabay
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Twitter has announced it will remove locked accounts — which are disabled owing to suspicious activity — from follower counts across profiles globally in the coming days resulting in some users seeing a drop in their base of followers.

If you lose some followers, do not fret as most people will see a change of four followers or fewer.

“Others with larger follower counts will experience a more significant drop. We understand this may be hard for some, but we believe accuracy and transparency make Twitter a more trusted service for public conversation,” Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s Legal, Policy and Trust and Safety Head, said in a blog post late on Wednesday.

The locked accounts are different from spam or bots and in most cases, these accounts were created by real people.

Twitter spots such accounts once there is a sudden changes in account behaviour — including tweeting a large volume of unsolicited replies or mentions, tweeting misleading links, or if a large number of accounts block the account after mentioning them.

“We sometimes lock an account if we see email and password combinations from other services posted online and believe that information could put the security of an account at risk — so we require accounts to change their passwords for protection,” Gadde mentioned.

“Until we confirm that everything is ok with the account, we lock it, which makes them unable to Tweet or see ads,” he added.

Twitter suspended more than 70 million accounts in May and June, and the pace has continued in July.
Twitter suspended more than 70 million accounts in May and June, and the pace has continued in July. Pixabay

Twitter said your follower counts may continue to change more regularly as part of its ongoing work to proactively identify and challenge problematic accounts.

The new announcement came after The Washington Post reported earlier this week that Twitter has been suspending as many as one million questionable accounts per day in recent months and the move will lead to decline in the numbers of its monthly active users.

Twitter suspended more than 70 million accounts in May and June, and the pace has continued in July.

In a tweet, Twitter CFO Ned Segal refuted the report, saying it will not affect the number of Twitter’s users which currently stands at 330 million.

“Some clarifications: most accounts we remove are not included in our reported metrics as they have not been active on the platform for 30 days or more, or we catch them at sign up and they are never counted,” Segal said.

Also Read: Twitter Says Removal Of Fake Accounts Does Not Hurt User Metrics

“If we removed 70 million accounts from our reported metrics, you would hear directly from us. Look forward to talking more on our earnings call July 27!” Segal said in another tweet.

But the confirmation of removal of fake accounts, even if not from the reported metrics, resulted in Twitter’s shares falling nearly nine per cent, erasing $3.1 billion in market value earlier this week. (IANS)

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Tech Giants to join Data Transfer Project (DTP) To Help Users Manage Data

The Data Transfer Project uses services' existing APIs and authorisation mechanisms to access data. It then uses service specific adapters to transfer that data into a common format, and then back into the new service's API.

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According to Google, the project will let users "transfer data directly from one service to another, without needing to download and re-upload it". (Wikimedia Commons)

To help billions of users manage their data and help them transfer that into and out of online services without privacy issues, four tech giants — Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter — on Friday announced to join the open source initiative called Data Transfer Project (DTP).

In the early stages at the moment, the Data Transfer Project will help users of one service to use their data to sign up for another service with encryption.

“Using your data from one service when you sign up for another still isn’t as easy as it should be. Today we’re excited to announce that we’re participating in the Data Transfer Project,” said Steve Satterfield, Privacy and Public Policy Director at Facebook in a statement.

The initiative comes at a time when data-sharing is making headlines — be it the massive Cambridge Analytica data scandal or third-party apps accessing users’ data at various platforms — amid countries announcing new data-protection laws like the European General Data Regulation Protection (GDPR).

Moving data between any two services can be complicated because every service is built differently and uses different types of data that may require unique privacy controls and settings.

“For example, you might use an app where you share photos publicly, a social networking app where you share updates with friends, and a fitness app for tracking your workouts,” said Satterfield.

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Moving data between any two services can be complicated because every service is built differently. Pixabay

“These are the kinds of issues the Data Transfer Project will tackle. The Project is in its early stages, and we hope more organisations and experts will get involved,” he added.

The Data Transfer Project uses services’ existing APIs and authorisation mechanisms to access data. It then uses service specific adapters to transfer that data into a common format, and then back into the new service’s API.

According to Google, the project will let users “transfer data directly from one service to another, without needing to download and re-upload it”.

The tech giants also released a white paper on this project.

“The future of portability will need to be more inclusive, flexible, and open. Our hope for this project is that it will enable a connection between any two public-facing product interfaces for importing and exporting data directly,” read the white paper.

According to Damien Kieran, Data Protection Officer at Twitter, right now, much of the online products and services we use do not interact with each other in a coherent and intuitive fashion.

“Information that is housed on one platform cannot be easily and securely transferred to other services. This is not a positive collective experience for the people who use our services and we are keen to work through some of the challenges as an industry,” Twitter said.

Also Read-Google, Facebook Have Been Using “Dark Patterns”: Report

The Data Transfer Project was formed in 2017 to create an open-source, service-to-service data portability platform so that all individuals across the web could easily move their data between online service providers whenever they want. (IANS)