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Twitter has suspended millions of accounts

According to the Washington Post, Twitter has already suspended some 70 million accounts in the last two months. This they have done to counter trolls and bots, which often appear on Twitter. In this way they want to clean up the platform.

Fake news on Twitter

By removing accounts that are suspected to be bots or trolls, Twitter fake news wants to put the tie on. These bots, or automated accounts that can retweet or like messages on command, often have the purpose of influencing public opinion. They can be used to spread fake news. Twitter does not want to stop the public conversation on the platform, but put safety first. It will be more and more difficult for Twitter to find bots, because the makers of the bots quickly adapt their methods to be harder to find.

Twitterbots, how are they traced?

In a blogpost by Yoel Roth and Del Harvey we describe how Twitter handles trolls and bots. Machine learning tools can detect spammy accounts and take action against this. The focus is on actively disabling such accounts. In this way Twitter wants to ensure that these accounts are seen by as few users as possible.

For example, suspicious accounts are set to “read only.” Then an action must be taken, such as confirming a telephone number. Twitter also asks for this when logging in. They also search out which accounts are automatically registered on Twitter. These can be bots. Furthermore, Twitter also uses a detection system that maps suspicious twitter behavior. Such behaviors are, for example, many tweets with the same hasthags or the same mentions without getting an answer from them. After this they ask this account for example to reset the password.

No matter how good the security of social media will become, we will also have to remain critical of the content we read. If you have to believe everything you read, the world would look very different.

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