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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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A Bug in Twitter Exposes Private Tweets of Some Android Users

Twitter is also facing an investigation by privacy regulators in Ireland over data collection in its link-shortening system

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Twitter
New Twitter bug exposed Android users' private tweets. Pixabay

A bug in Twitter exposed private tweets of some Android users for over five years when they made changes in their settings, like changing the email address linked to their accounts.

According to the micro-blogging platform, the bug (now fixed) disabled the “Protect your Tweets” setting if certain account changes were made on Android devices.

The bug didn’t affect people using Twitter on iOS or desktop, Twitter said on Thursday.

“You may have been impacted by this issue if you had protected Tweets turned on in your settings, used Twitter for Android, and made certain changes to account settings such as changing the email address associated with your account between November 3, 2014, and January 14, 2019.

“People on iOS or the web were not impacted. We fixed the issue on January 14, and we’ll provide updates if other important information becomes available,” Twitter said on its Help page.

The company said it has informed those who were affected by the bug, and has turned “Protect your Tweets” back on for them if it was disabled.

Twitter CEO
Twitter on a smartphone device. VOA

“We encourage you to review your privacy settings to ensure that your aProtect your Tweets’ setting reflects your preferences,” said Twitter, adding it is sorry that this happened.

In May last year, Twitter asked its 336 million users to change their passwords after it discovered a bug that stored passwords in plain text in an internal system.

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.

Also Read- Android ‘Q’ Expected to Bring System-wide ‘Dark Mode’

Another 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 admitted in September.

The bug ran from May 2017 and after discovering it, Twitter said it fixed the bug to prevent data from being unintentionally sent to the incorrect developer.

Twitter is also facing an investigation by privacy regulators in Ireland over data collection in its link-shortening system. (IANS)