Twitter Banning Suspicious Accounts to Combat Hate Speech

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The micro-blogging giant Twitter is now taking strict action to control hate speech on its platform. It has begun suspending suspicious accounts liberally to curb the purge of trolls, bots, and other malicious content on its network.

Twitter suspends 1 million accounts a day

Twitter says it has suspended more than 70 million users over the course of May and June, and the Washington Post reports that the massive purge to combat hate speech, bots and trolling continued into July. Last October, the company was suspending suspicious accounts as well, but its pace this Spring has doubled. This indicates that the social network prioritizes platform safety and security over user growth.

However, this action may not be appreciated by stockholders, as it will impact on the number of monthly active users. The tech company has been trying to make amends for the problems caused during the US Presidential elections 2016 by removing numerous bots and abusers from the platform and initiating new rules for political advertisers.

Some people saw this suspension move of Twitter coming a long time ago, especially when several popular figures lost thousands of followers. The most recent suspension by Twitter mostly included spam accounts and bots.

In an interview with Gizmodo, a Twitter spokesperson said that as of this May, the company’s automated systems were identifying and challenging about 10 million accounts, mostly automated posters or spammers.  Furthermore, the social network said that each day it prevents more than 50 thousand potential spam accounts from being created.

Recent suspensions for hate speech or bots didn’t have much impact on active user base: Twitter VP

Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter says it is difficult to believe that 70 million accounts were affected when the micro-blogging site has just 336 million monthly active users (MAU). A report by the Washington Post says that the MAU of the social network is anticipated to grow almost 3% to 337.06 in the Q2.

The tech company told Congress earlier this year that only 5% of its active users are spam accounts or fake accounts and less than 8.5% are bots or automation tools. According to Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, bots make up around 9 to 15% of Twitter’s user base.

At the end of Q1 of this year, the social network reported having 336 million active users. In an interview with the Washington Post, Del Harvey, Twitter’s Vice president for trust and safety, said that the latest suspensions did not have much impact on the active user base of the company, and that the company has been readying the investors for a potential slowdown for a long time.

It’s not just Twitter that is suspending accounts – Facebook removed 583 million fake accounts from its platform in the first quarter of this year. Suspension of accounts may not clean these social media platforms completely, but they are an important step in combating hate speech and misinformation.

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