It has barely been a week since the news of Twitter acquiring anti-abuse tech provider Smyte, made headlines. The company, on Wednesday, June 27, announced new policy changes to tackle automated accounts, or bots, and spam on the microblogging website.
A key update will require all new users to confirm either an e-mail address or mobile number when signing up for Twitter. This is crucial to eliminating the creation of more bots and dummy accounts on the social networking site.
To reduce the visibility of suspicious accounts in tweets and account metrics, the company has started updating account metrics in near-real time. "For example, the number of followers an account has, or the number of likes or Retweets a Tweet receives, will be correctly updated when we take action on accounts," it said.
Twitter is also conducting an audit to secure a number of legacy systems used to create accounts.
The new protections we've developed as a result of this audit have already helped us prevent more than 50,000 spammy signups per day," the company said.
Furthermore, Twitter is automating some processes where it sees suspicious account activity, like exceptionally high-volume tweeting with the same hashtag, or using the same handle without a reply from the account a user has mentioned.
Twitter goes all out to keep spam at bay
The company is investing heavily in machine learning technologies both natively and in partnerships with third companies so as to improve its auto-detection features. The acquisition of Smyte, a San Francisco-based anti-abuse tech startup, adds to their drive to ensure security to users on the website.
Twitter released key information and numbers in the website's ongoing battle with bots through a blog post late on Tuesday.
This is an important change to defend against people who try to take advantage of our openness.
The micro-blogging platform stated that, in May, its systems identified and challenged more than 9.9 million potentially "spammy" or automated accounts per week -- up from 6.4 million in December and 3.2 million in September 2017.
Twitter saw a drop in the average number of spam reports - from approximately 25,000 per day in March to approximately 17,000 per day in May.
"Due to technology and process improvements during the past year, we are now removing 214 percent more accounts for violating our spam policies on a year-on-year basis," it added.
"We're also moving rapidly to curb spam and abuse originating via Twitter's APIs. In Q1 2018, we suspended more than 142,000 applications in violation of our rules -- collectively responsible for more than 130 million low-quality, spammy tweets," the blog post said.
Twitter currently has 330 million user accounts.
[With inputs from IANS]