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Twitter

Twitter says suspension of fake accounts will not hurt reported user metrics as shares slide on report

The company has suspended more than 1 million accounts a day in recent months to reduce the flow of misinformation on its platform, report says

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 July, 2018, 10:19am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 10 July, 2018, 10:19am

Twitter Inc said on Monday that weeding out fake accounts from its microblogging site will not hurt its reported user metrics as suggested by a Washington Post report.

The newspaper had said the social media company had suspended more than 70 million fake accounts in May and June that could lead to a decline of monthly active users (MAU) in the second quarter.

“Most accounts we remove are not included in our reported metrics as they have not been active on the platform for 30 days or more, or we catch them at sign up and they are never counted,” Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal tweeted on Monday. ‏

“If we removed 70 million accounts from our reported metrics, you would hear directly from us.”

The company has suspended more than 1 million accounts a day in recent months to reduce the flow of misinformation on the platform, the newspaper reported late on Friday, citing data it had obtained.

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Twitter shares, which fell as much as 10 per cent earlier in the day, recouped some losses after Segal’s comments and were last down 5.5 per cent at US$44.09.

Morningstar analyst Ali Mogharabi said the initial stock reaction was likely due to the assumption that the lower user count would attract less ad dollars.

“But we must remember that big advertisers are now paying more attention to quality content alongside which their ads are placed,” Mogharabi said.

Twitter reported 336 million MAUs in the first quarter and is expected to grow nearly 3 per cent to 337.06 million in the current quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

“MAU may continue to be negatively impacted in future periods due to our ongoing information quality efforts,” Twitter had said in a letter to shareholders during the first quarter. “While the magnitude of any potential future impacts is difficult to predict, we believe that DAU (daily active users) will be less affected than MAU.”