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Report: Twitter Suspending Fake Accounts at Rate That Could Risk User Growth

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

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Twitter
Twitter confirms third-party involvement in crypto hackings. Pixabay

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.

“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.

Twitter currently has nearly 330 million monthly active users
Twitter currently has nearly 330 million monthly active users, Pixabay

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.

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.

Also Read: Twitter Ads Transparency Centre Lets Users View who Bought its Ads

“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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Facebook Pulls Down Over 3 Billion Fake Accounts

“This half, India accounted for 85 per cent of total new global disruptions,” said the company

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facebook, christchurch attack, new zealand
FILE - The Facebook logo is seen on a shop window in Malaga, Spain, June 4, 2018. (VOA)

Facebook has removed more than three billion fake accounts in the October 2018-March 2019 period, saying that about 5 per cent of its monthly active users were fake.

Facebook disabled 1.2 billion accounts in Q4 2018 and 2.19 billion in Q1 2019.

“For fake accounts, the amount of accounts we took action on increased due to automated attacks by bad actors who attempt to create large volumes of accounts at one time,” Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president for integrity, said in a blog post on Thursday.

According to Rosen, for every 10,000 times people who view content on Facebook, 11 to 14 views contained content that violate the platform’s adult nudity and sexual activity policy.

“We estimated for every 10,000 times people viewed content on Facebook, 25 views contained content that violated our violence and graphic content policy.

“During the second half of 2018, the volume of content restrictions based on local law increased globally by 135 per cent from 15,337 to 35,972.

facebook, iphone, new york
FILE – The Facebook app icon is shown on an iPhone in New York. VOA

“This increase was primarily driven by 16,600 items we restricted in India based on a Delhi High Court order regarding claims made about PepsiCo products,” said Facebook.

In the second half of 2018, Facebook identified 53 disruptions of Facebook services in nine countries, compared to 48 disruptions in eight nations in the first half of 2018.

“This half, India accounted for 85 per cent of total new global disruptions,” said the company.

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In this period, on Facebook and Instagram, the company took down 2,595,410 pieces of content based on 511,706 copyright reports; 215,877 pieces of content based on 81,243 trademark reports; and 781,875 pieces of content based on 62,829 counterfeit reports.

“In Q1 2019, we took action on about 900,000 pieces of drug sale content, of which 83.3 per cent we detected pro-actively. In the same period, we took action on about 670,000 pieces of firearm sale content, of which 69.9 per cent we detected pro-actively,” added Rosen. (IANS)