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Twitter Goes After Spams and Trolls, Some Users to Lose Followers

To make it harder to register spam accounts, Twitter will now require new accounts to confirm either an email address or phone number when they sign up to the platform

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Twitter now allows live audio-only broadcasts. Pixabay
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To address the problem of increasing spam accounts and trolls on its platform, Twitter has introduced tough policies that will soon see some users losing fake followers globally.

In May, Twitter 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.

Twitter said late Tuesday that it will take further action to challenge a large number of suspected spam accounts globally.

As a result of these improvements, some people may notice their own account metrics change more regularly.

“This is an important shift in how we display Tweet and account information to ensure that malicious actors aren’t able to artificially boost an account’s credibility permanently by inflating metrics like the number of followers,” Twitter said in a blog post.

Some people may see their follower counts drop but this does not mean they did anything wrong, the company said.

To make it harder to register spam accounts, Twitter will now require new accounts to confirm either an email address or phone number when they sign up to the platform.

“This is an important change to defend against people who try to take advantage of our openness,” Twitter said in a blog post.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

“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,” it added.

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.

“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.

Twitter currently has 330 million user accounts.

“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 blog post said.

Also Read: Facebook and Twitter Account Blocks Without Notice: Hezbollah

To reduce the visibility of suspicious accounts in Tweet and account metrics, the company said it has started updating account metrics in near-real time.

“For example, the number of followers an account has, or the number of likes or Retweets a Tweet receives, will be correctly updated when we take action on accounts,” it added.

Twitter is also automating some processes where it sees suspicious account activity, like exceptionally high-volume tweeting with the same hashtag, or using the same @handle without a reply from the account a user has mentioned.

Twitter said it will continue to invest in leveraging Machine Learning (ML) technology and partnerships with third parties. (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.

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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.

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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)