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Twitter rooting out fake accounts at record rate: report

AFP  |  San Francisco 

has been suspending more than one million fake and dubious accounts per day, according to The Washington Post, in an aggressive bid to stem the flow of false information.

The has more than doubled its crackdown rate since late last year, the Post said, when testimony from Twitter, and revealed startling new data showing many more millions of Americans were exposed to than previously thought.

Russia-linked fake accounts are believed to have fired off false tweets in an effort to sway the 2016 US

In recent years Twitter, which has some 336 million active users, has faced sharp criticism for allegedly not doing enough to control the proliferation of bots and trolls created to spread disinformation.

The new offensive against such accounts represents something of an ideological shift in the tech company; it had long abstained from policing potential abuses of the platform in the name of free speech.

Del Harvey, Twitter's vice president for trust and safety, told the Post that the company is changing "how we think about balancing free expression versus the potential for free expression to chill someone else's speech." "Free expression doesn't really mean much if people don't feel safe," told the paper.

Well-known fan meanwhile questioned whether the San Francisco-based company -- which has not said whether the ongoing effort could cause a rare decline in its user base in the second quarter -- would also target major legitimate sources in its drive to root out false information.

"is getting rid of fake accounts at a record pace," the tweeted.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, July 07 2018. 22:05 IST