In a latest development in its tirade against fake accounts and bots, Twitter reportedly suspended over 70 million accounts on the platform in the months of May and June. The numbers build on Twitter’s announcement last month in which it claimed 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. According to data available with The Washington Post, the rate of account suspensions on the platform has been doubled since October 2017, when the company started to ban all ads and accounts that allegedly interfered in the 2016 US presidential elections.
The report also claimed that this aggressive removal of accounts may also result in a decline of the user base in the second quarter. Twitter refused to comment on this. While announcing the first quarter results of 2018, Twitter said that it had 336 million average monthly active users (MAUs) in the quarter -- an increase of 3 percent year-over-year and an increase of 6 million compared to 330 million in the previous quarter. Average daily active users (DAU) grew 10 percent year-over-year, marking another quarter of double-digit growth.
Twitter has become aggressive when it comes to the crackdown of fake and abusive accounts, bots and trolls. In June, the platform introduced new policies on hateful conduct and violent extremism, including a plan to bring in new technology and staff to fight spam and abuse. Twitter saw a drop in the average number of spam reports -- from an average of approximately 25,000 per day in March, to approximately 17,000 per day in May.
In April, Twitter had reportedly banned multiple accounts which used to conspire as a group to share tweets and force them to go viral. It had also booted out makers and consumers of deepfakes -- fake porn videos of celebrities created with a machine learning algorithm -- from the platform. In February, Twitter had announced a set of guidelines to prohibit bots from mass tweeting as well as prevent automated tweets.