Ahead of US midterm elections, Twitter cracks down on fake accounts

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Social media giant Twitter, ahead of US November midterm elections removed upto 50 accounts in August after it was revealed that they had misrepresented themselves as members of various state Republican parties, Bloomberg reported.

It’s also taken action on Tweets sharing news about elections and political issues with misleading or incorrect party affiliation information, Twitter said Monday in a blog post.

Twitter said it’s expanding the methods of identifying fake accounts to include scrutiny of those with stock or stolen avatar photos, copied profile biographies and intentionally misleading profile information.

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Twitter said it has been improving its algorithms to identify spam and automated accounts. In the first half of September, the company said it challenged an average of 9.4 million accounts each week. As a result of greater efforts to ferret out false information, the number of spam-related reports from users has declined to an average of about 16,000 per day in September from 17,000 per day in May, Twitter said. During the past few months, the company rolled out a stricter registration process for developers requesting access to Twitter data, and is now suspending about 30,000 applications each month, according to the blog post.

In a widespread battle against the increasing onslaught of fake news accounts, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter have been upping efforts to fight foreign influence campaigns after the platforms were used by overseas actors to meddle in American politics and broaden political divisions. During the presidential election, the Kremlin-backed Russian Internet Research Agency operated accounts masquerading as official political organizations and local American news sources.

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