Twitter Is Becoming Better At Detecting and Removing Bots, But Online Studies Oppose With Different Stats

According to researches, 5 percent to 15 percent of accounts present on Twitter are fake or bot operated. Users have been complaining about such accounts for years as their impact is bigger than any of the expected numbers. A number of bot accounts are also being used for malicious purposes - including amplification of political messages.

However, when now recently Twitter was asked about the details regarding all the assumptions listed above, the company has come out with a clear statement that such statistics are not only incorrect but Twitter also is rapidly improving at detecting and removing bots.

Moreover, the executives of the company have also been blunt about addressing how the blames of the platform enabling mass-tweeting to influence public opinion is an unfair one too.

Yoel Roth, Twitter's Head of Integrity, and Nick Pickles, the company's Director of Global Public Policy Strategy, together have outlined the various limitations of third-party Twitter bot analysis in a written note, along with presenting their own results as the indicator of performance that you should trust more.

Starting off with utmost honesty, Twitter first accepted that automatic accounts emerged as a big problem for the company initially. But as along the way investments were made and the core team delivered their best work to get rid of such accounts, Twitter has been pretty much successful in eliminating them from the platform.

Twitter also presented a Transparency Report based on the most recent update and said that the total count of malicious accounts has been 15.4 million as of June 2019.

Now if we keep using that as an indicator then Twitter had 139 million mDAU back in that month. Moving on another measure that is connected to the mDAU suggest that there may have been only 11.08% of possible fake profiles. But then this figure also includes all the violations and Twitter’s own spam account count can be as low as single digits - which are constantly getting detected and removed as well.

Twitter has become even more strict on the violations of the platform’s rule but as all automation accounts does not cause contravention, they can also be used for creative purposes by business, copy content despite being original and therefore the company will continue to find a middle ground to improve the situation more.

Furthermore, the kind of data coming out as a part of academic studies includes tweets that are often repeated, word for word, and re-posted in rapid succession for when a topic is trending. This is typical practice on the platform carried by real accounts.

But all being said and done, the company also says that Twitter is not entirely bot free. As people usually run their profile through a bot checker, that still is not an enough evidence to point any finger.

Nevertheless, Twitter is also working to add new tags for bot accounts - similar to the verified ticks for bots that previously used to help in better understanding the origin of any trend on the platform.

It all comes down to how you take both the numbers. In either case, Twitter is working actively to beat the bots and the problem may just be different from what it seems like.

Hat Tip: SMT.

Read next: 'Distractions' keeps us - humans different from bots, reveals a Twitter study
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