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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 India partners White Swan Foundation, unveils special emoji. Pixabay
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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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Twitter Gets a Bug And Releases DM’s of 3 Mn Users To a Third Party Application

Twitter said it found no sign that hackers accessed the exposed data.

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Twitter on a smartphone device. Pixabay

A bug in Twitter’s platform for third-party app developers exposed some Direct Messages (DMs) from nearly 3 million users to outsiders, the micro-blogging platform has admitted.

The bug ran from May 2017 and within hours of discovering it on September 10, Twitter said it fixed the bug to prevent data from being unintentionally sent to the incorrect developer.

“The bug affected less than 1 per cent of people on Twitter. The bug may have caused some of these interactions to be unintentionally sent to another registered developer,” Twitter said in a blog post on Saturday.

Twitter
Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on foreign influence operations and their use of social media on Capitol Hill. VOA

“In some cases, this may have included certain DMs or protected tweets, for example a Direct Message with an airline that had authorised an Account Activity API (AAAPI) developer.”

The Account Activity API allows registered developers to build tools to better support businesses and their communications with customers on Twitter.

Twitter currently has over 336 million users and one per cent means nearly 3 million of those were affected.

Twitter
The logo appears on a phone post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.. VOA

If your business authorised a developer using the AAAPI to access your account, the bug may have impacted your activity data in error.

“We’re very sorry this happened. If your account was affected by this bug, we will contact you directly through an in-app notice and on twitter.com,” said the company.

In May, the micro-blogging platform asked its 336 million users to change their password across its services after it discovered a bug that stored passwords in plain text in an internal system.

Also Read: A Rise in Pregnancy Phobia Due to Social Media Platforms

Twitter said it found no sign that hackers accessed the exposed data but advised users that they should enter a new password on all services where their current password has been used. (IANS)