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Twitter cracks down on suspicious accounts to clean up your timeline

Twitter has introduced new measures to protect its users from abuse and harassment, in a bid to combat spam and malicious automation of tweets.

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi | Published: June 27, 2018 7:11:36 pm
Twitter, new Twitter policy, abusive tweets, Twitter account metrics, malicious Twitter content, third-party apps, Twitter monthly active users, extremist content social media, Twitter abuse policy, Twitter news Twitter has introduced new measures in order to combat spam and malicious automation of tweets.

Twitter has introduced new measures in order to combat spam and malicious automation of tweets. The company has rolled out four new enforcement measures that will help reduce the visibility of suspicious account in Tweet as well as account metrics, improve the sign-up process, audit existing accounts for signs of automated signup and automate processes where Twitter sees suspicious account activity. Twitter takes advantage of machine learning technology, as well as partnerships with third parties to detect spam on its platform.

Twitter has started updating their account metrics in near-real time to detect suspicious accounts. The read-only accounts detected by Twitter will now be removed from follower figures and engagement counts. Twitter displays a warning on read-only accounts in order to prevent new accounts from following them. The move will ensure that people do not artificially boost an account’s credibility permanently by inflating the number of followers, etc.

Twitter is also improving its sign-up process, which could make it harder to register spam accounts. The service will now require new accounts to confirm either an email address or phone number when they sign-up on it. To prevent automated signups,  Twitter will conduct an audit to ensure every account on its platform has passed some automatic security checks.

Also read: Twitter to put live news events in your timeline, notifications

As a part of clean up process, Twitter may drop the followers’ count of suspected spam accounts. This includes accounts, which appear to have bulk followed verified accounts suggested to new accounts during the sign-up flow. The company will also automate some processes to detect suspicious account activity. For instance, exceptionally high-volume tweeting with the same hashtag, or using the same @handle without a reply from the account the user is mentioning, and more.

These issues are felt around the world, from elections to emergency events and high-profile public conversations. As we have stated in recent announcements, the public health of the conversation on Twitter is a critical metric by which we will measure our success in these areas.

Here’s how to keep your Twitter account safe and secure

If you’re a Twitter user, here’s how you can keep your Twitter account safe.

First things first, users can consider enabling two-factor authentication. While a social media user would just require entering a password to log in, the second layer of security sends a code to your smartphone. This window appears after the passwords window, and ensures that only you can access your account. Tweeters can achieve this via a FIDO Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) security key.

Another option to take is a regular review of third-party applications. Twitter users can review and revoke access for such apps from the Apps tab in Account Settings on the website.

Read more: Twitter buys Smyte to curb spam, abusive behaviour

Security also remains enhanced, if users consider unique passwords across social media platforms, rather than the same password across multiple accounts. Twitter also provides a spam protection option, to safeguard users from dangerous account access. Users can consider the company’s product review system to check for more.

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