Twitter is working to fight “platform manipulation” by automatically removing 6 million to 7.5 million accounts per week in efforts to combat the practice. That works out to about 10 to 12 accounts a second, or 312 million to 390 million a year. In fact, have you checked your Twitter account lately?
That number comes courtesy of Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of site integrity, in an interview with the Smarter Every Day YouTube channel. “Eight to 10 million accounts a week are challenged automatically, and more than three-quarters of those accounts wind up removed automatically from the service,” Roth says in the video embedded below.
Despite that Sisyphean effort, fake accounts and spam continue to pop up hydra-like across the platform, determined to manipulate Twitter for their own undoubtedly nefarious purposes (read: sell you shady products, influence an election, and/or steal your credit card number). As stated in a June 2018 blog post, Twitter is working hard and investing heavily in proactive detection of spam accounts, but it’s an uphill battle.
If Twitter believes an account is spam, it can set out a “challenge,” such as verifying a phone number, solving a reCAPTCHA, or resetting its password. Such tasks should be easy for real users to resolve, but tricky for bot farms or spam producers to complete within a timely fashion, resulting in the account being automatically suspended.
The video is part of a series from Smarter Every Day, which shows viewers exactly how algorithmic manipulation is attacking YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, and how these platforms are combating it. Plug your nose and jump in here: