Hyderabad: Twitter is cleaning its house by addressing the issue of fake followers and bots by using machine learning, which may result in some users seeing their follower counts drop. One of the important changes is that to create new accounts one has to confirm either an email address or phone number.
A previous purge that earlier this year, found a lot of people losing their followers, including those like veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan, who claimed that Twitter was targeting his account. Clean-ups do not target any individual, group or organisation or any particular belief, viewpoint or opinion, according to Twitter
Spambots are profiles created with algorithms look like human but that automatically follow verified or other high-profile accounts at the point of sign up.
Mr K. Krishna, whose website has 110K followers on Twitter, said, “In the previous purge we lost around 6,000 followers. Since most of these are spam which gets added without our notice, reach-wise it wouldn't impact much. However, from psychological number perspective less number looks bad, especially when your target audience are all online.”"
He said the impact will be seen on the accounts affiliated to movies wherein some profiles witnessed a sudden surge of 300-400 tousand followers after which no growth was noticed.
If a user notices fluctuations in follower counts, it just means that Twitter's machine learning is getting better at proactively identifying problematic accounts that disturb the experience of a real person.
Twitter has warned users that they may notice their account metrics changing more regularly. A Twitter spokesperson said, “We continue to invest in machine learning tools that identify and take action on networks of spammy or automated accounts automatically. This lets us tackle attempts to manipulate conversations on Twitter at scale, across languages and time zones, without relying on reactive reports.”