In spite of threat to user growth, Twitter is going ahead with plans to purge its platform—suspending a whopping 70 million accounts in the last two months. That figure amounts to about 1 million accounts every day, which by the way could be the company’s latest attempt at stamping out fake news. According to The Washington Post, the microblogging company suspended 70 million accounts in the months of May and June, with similar trend set to continue in July.
While this might pose threat to the monthly user growth, Twitter appears to be unperturbed by this, but would rather not have a repeat of what went wrong during the last US election. During the 2016 election in the US, some Russian trolls used the social media including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to spread fake news among electorates. So massive was the influence of the Russians that the Senate had to wade in to investigate the matter.
This proactive step will not only protect real users from trolls, it will also calm the nerves of advertizers and encourage more patronage. Besides, the real users are the ones who post and respond to tweets—keeping the conversation going unlike the fake accounts that rarely tweet.
The company last May announced that it will start relying on algorithm to identify and restrict accounts suspected to have been engaged in “abusive behavior.”
That announcement marked a slight shift from how Twitter had approached the issue of abuse on its platform. It is not just a keyword policing as we thought it would be some weeks ago; the update will take into account the relationships that exist between users when issues of abuse are being determined.
Reassuring users of the company’s good intention to crackdown on accounts found guilty of violating its policy; Twitter said its job will be thorough. It however, admits that mistakes cannot be ruled out based on the fact that the tools are new and need some time to be worked and improved on.
Twitter added a set of new filtering options for your notifications. Users will now be able to apply filters to certain accounts, especially ones without profile photos, and unverified email addresses or phone numbers. The new filter options were rolled out today, and are now available to every Twitter user.
Twitter also expanded the mute feature it introduced back in November to now include ability to mute certain phrases “from your home timeline and you can decide how long this content is muted – one day, one week, one month, or indefinitely.”
Going forward, Twitter says it will start updating users with regular information about accounts or tweets that have been reported to its support teams. The company said this is a part of ongoing efforts to carry everyone along and show some level of transparency.
You’ll start to hear more from us about accounts or Tweets that you’ve reported to our support teams – both when you report harassment directed at you or another account. You will be notified when we’ve received your report and informed if we take further action. This will all be visible in your notifications tab on our app, Twitter said back in May.