Twitter suspending 1M accounts a day in fight against disinformation, report says

The move could take a toll on the number of monthly active users, The Washington Post reports.

Abrar Al-Heeti Technology Reporter
Abrar Al-Heeti is a technology reporter for CNET, with an interest in phones, streaming, internet trends, entertainment, pop culture and digital accessibility. She's also worked for CNET's video, culture and news teams. She graduated with bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Though Illinois is home, she now loves San Francisco -- steep inclines and all.
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Abrar Al-Heeti
2 min read

Twitter is aggressively cracking down on fake accounts. 

Getty Images

Twitter is reportedly stepping up its fight against fake accounts by suspending more than 1 million accounts a day in recent months. 

That's more than twice the number of account suspensions in October, when the social media company was under pressure from lawmakers to fight Russian meddling, The Washington Post reported Friday. Data obtained by the Post shows more than 70 million Twitter accounts were suspended in May and June, and the company has continued to crack down at that rate into July. 

In response to a request for comment, Twitter directed CNET to a blog post from last week that says, in part, that Twitter is "now removing 214 percent more accounts for violating our spam policies on a year-on-year basis." The company also said the average number of spam reports it's received dropped from around 25,000 a day in March to around 17,000 a day in May. New protections "have already helped us prevent more than 50,000 spammy sign-ups per day," the post reads.

Removing accounts at this scale could lead to a drop in the number of monthly active users in the second quarter, a person familiar with the matter told the Post. A Twitter representative told CNET that the company's Q1 shareholder letter acknowledges that its "ongoing information quality efforts," along with other factors, were impacting the number of monthly active users (MAU). 

"MAU may continue to be negatively impacted in future periods due to our ongoing information quality efforts, GDPR, and other operational decisions," the letter reads. 

Twitter's effort to combat abusive bots and trolls comes as the company deals with revelations that Russian-linked social media troll accounts might have impacted the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election. Russian bots shared Donald Trump's tweets almost 470,000 times between Sept. 1 and Nov. 15, 2016, and retweeted candidate Hillary Clinton less than 50,000 times, Twitter told congressional investigators in January.

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