Twitter’s crackdown against fake accounts: Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi, Virat Kohli likely to lose followers

In its effort to curb the flow of misinformation and combat the issue of fake news, Twitter has suspended more than one million accounts a day in recent months, the Washington Post reported. The social media giant is focusing on machine-learning tools to proactively monitor bot accounts that are used to bloat the follower count of other profiles. Automated accounts, the company said, are being screened at the sign-up stage itself. More than 50,000 spam sign-ups per day are being blocked, it said. Twitter’s crackdown could likely result in a decline in the number of followers of many popular profiles.A Twitter Bot is a software program that sends out automated posts on Twitter. In tech parlance, bots – short for robots – are simple computer programmes designed to carry out automated tasks. They are non-human actors that often try to get undetected. The bots can be used to make an issue trend, amplify a message of product, grab public attention and trigger policy change.Twitter and other social media platforms such as Facebook are under pressure from users and Western governments to stem the spread of false news, often done with the help of automated accounts known as bots. Research suggests that the bots were used to manipulate public sentiment and spread propaganda on contentious issues like the 2016 US Presidential Elections, Brexit among others.Twitter, earlier this year, announced key steps to purge its platform of bots, trolls, and fake accounts. According to its new guidelines, the social media platform will prohibit mass tweets, likes and follows and will no longer allow people to post identical messages from multiple accounts.