Twitter is cracking down on tweet bots that spread fake news

Kelley Robertson
February 23, 2018

It's those that Twitter appears to be going after.

Users of TweetDeck will no longer be able to select multiple accounts through which to perform an action, such as Tweeting, Retweeting, liking, or following. Back in January, Buzzfeed shed light on a practice called "tweetdecking", wherein users tweet out content across multiple popular accounts added to their Tweetdeck in exchange for payment.

Filippo Menczer, an informatics and computer science professor at Indiana University, says that's been a persistent vulnerability for Twitter.

Many people who are angry with Twitter are advocating for a move to Gab, a competing social media platform that has become the preferred alternative to Twitter for white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and other folks you probably don't want to associate with.

Twitter has purged thousands of accounts it suspects of being automated bots, sparking a backlash from a number of high-profile conservative tweeters.

The announcement comes amid heightened attention to bots on Twitter.

Roth says they will enforce the Twitter policy update starting March 23, 2018. Devumi has denied selling fake followers.

Twitter didn't specify how many accounts had been flagged as a result of this latest purge.

The effort has nonetheless infuriated some Twitter members, including several conservative radio show hosts. Users complained of losing hundreds, if not thousands, of followers, while large cohorts of users were restricted from using the platform. The hashtag "TwitterLockOut" was trending in the US, meaning thousands of accounts were tweeting about it. "As part of our ongoing work in safety, we identify suspicious account behaviors that indicate automated activity or violations of our policies around having multiple accounts, or abuse", said the spokesperson. But the opaque, haphazard way that Twitter has gone about targeting Russian and other fake accounts seems to be alienating its conservative users.

When an account is locked or a phone number is unconfirmed, it isn't included in follower counts until it provides a phone number, Twitter noted.

Her Twitter account, @ThankUGOD4Trump, still has a warning that it's temporarily restricted for "unusual activity", as you can see in the screenshot below.

Yesterday, some of the Twitter's users faced login issues.

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