Twitter challenges hundreds of thousands of accounts each week to find out in the event that they’re bots or not


Angela Lang/CNET

Twitter Chief Know-how Officer Parag Agrawal mentioned Thursday that the corporate challenges hundreds of thousands of accounts each week to find out in the event that they’re run by a human or fully automated. 

Using pretend accounts have been a giant concern for tech firms particularly after revelations surfaced in 2016 that Russian trolls used social networks to sow discord amongst People in the course of the US presidential election. Agrawal, who was talking on the Collison from Residence tech convention, mentioned there are numerous classes of pretend accounts that can be utilized by dangerous actors. 

Some accounts are fully automated whereas different accounts are bots with “people within the loop.” There are additionally accounts run by people that try to govern conversations and accounts that get compromised after which get utilized by dangerous actors.

“Any try to govern the dialog really applies some mixture of all 4 of those probably to take action,” he mentioned. 

Outdoors of difficult accounts, Agrawal mentioned that Twitter suspends hundreds of thousands of accounts each month earlier than a consumer sees them on their timelines or in search outcomes. 


Wired Editor-in-Chief Nicholas Thompson interviews Twitter CTO Parag Agrawal on the Collison from Residence convention on Thursday.

Screenshot by Queenie Wong/CNET

The corporate makes use of know-how, he mentioned, to observe the behaviors of a considerable amount of accounts and detect patterns. As soon as Twitter sees “anomalies” that may’t be defined by “regular utilization,” the corporate is aware of whether or not or not they need to examine sure accounts.

Determining whether or not a Twitter account is pretend, he mentioned, is not at all times straightforward as a result of there are accounts with no profile image and a restricted variety of tweets that appear to be bots however they’re really run by people. Twitter additionally permits customers to make use of pseudonyms.

Nonetheless, he mentioned, it is not the accounts that look pretend which can be probably probably the most problematic. 

“Probably the most harmful pretend accounts really do not look pretend on the floor,” he mentioned.

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