Twitter deletes 10,000 automated accounts ahead of US midterms

Twitter responds to Democratic Party complaints of automated accounts posing as Democrats discouraging people from voting in the US midterm election

5Nov

Twitter has deleted more than 10,000 automated accounts posting messages discouraging people from voting in the upcoming US midterm elections. While Twitter did not disclose the content of the messages, according to Reuters, the accounts posted messages that wrongly appeared to be from Democrats.

The removals allegedly took place in late September and early October, with a Twitter spokesperson stating in an email:"We took action on relevant accounts and activity on Twitter."

The social media giant confirmed it had been alerted to the posts by the Democratic Party on Friday after the political party had used its own system for spotting malicious accounts to identify the fake bots.

Twitter has recently been ramping up its efforts to get rid of fake accounts and reported that in its last quarter its monthly user count dropped by 9 million as it continued to purge spam accounts.


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"The number is modest, considering that Twitter has previously deleted millions of accounts it determined were responsible for spreading misinformation in the 2016 US presidential election," noted Reuters.

Twitter has been especially proactive in its removal of fake accounts this year, particularly in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal which saw the general public's trust in social media drop significantly.

Falling user numbers tend to mark a drop in share price for social media companies. However, after a tough October, shares in Twitter look much more healthy in what was seen as a validation of its strategy to "prioritize the long-term health of Twitter" over user numbers," The Telegraph reported. It is this strategy which has been Twitter's share surge almost 40% since 2018 while its competitors, in particular Facebook, have struggled.

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