Twitter Purges Fake User Accounts

By M. Russo — Published July 15, 2018

Twitter Purges Fake User Accounts

On Wednesday, Twitter announced the plan to significantly purge locked accounts in an effort to foster trust on the social media platform. Popular accounts were hit the hardest as they lost millions of followers. For example, Barack Obama lost 2 million followers and Katy Perry lost 3 million followers. Other celebrities who were especially affected include Kim Kardashian West (lost 1.7 million followers), Justin Bieber (lost 2 million followers), Kourtney Kardashian (lost 700,000 followers), and Taylor Swift (lost 2 million followers). Donald Trump also lost 340,000 followers.

Vijaya Gadde, the Legal, Policy and Trust, and Safety Lead, explained on Twitter's blog that accounts get locked due to suspicious, sudden changes in behavior, such as "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." While these accounts may have been created by real users, it appears that the users no longer have control over them. Users of these locked accounts are then sent an email to reset their password and verify that everything is ok.

source: gettyimages

In May, Twitter announced that it had removed 70 million accounts in May and June alone that appeared to have been related to bots and trolls.  Twitter expects that average users will only see a drop of about 4 followers each. This follows the trend of other social media giants aiming to reign in the problem of fake accounts, especially following the revelation of Russian hacking of social media platforms during the most recent presidential election. Facebook removed 583 million fake accounts in the first three months of 2018 alone. While Twitter stocks initially plummeted with the news, this move is expected to increase quality and credibility in the long-term.

Related Articles