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X Warns Users of Potential Follower Loss as It Cleans Up Spammers and Bots

ByHuey Yee Ong

Apr 5, 2024
X Warns Users of Potential Follower Loss as It Cleans Up Spammers and Bots

X Warns Users of Potential Follower Loss as It Cleans Up Spammers and Bots

X is cautioning its users to brace themselves for potential decreases in their follower counts as the company gears up for another comprehensive sweep to purge spammers and bots from its network.

The announcement, made through X’s Safety account, outlines the commencement of a proactive campaign starting Thursday, April 4th to eradicate accounts that contravene X’s regulations concerning platform manipulation and spam.

This move follows closely on the heels of X’s recent announcement regarding the appointment of two new leaders to its safety team: Kylie McRoberts, who assumes the role of Head of Safety after being an existing X employee, and Yale Cohen, formerly of Publicis Media, stepping in as the Head of Brand Safety and Advertiser Solutions.

Addressing spam has been a longstanding objective for X, with Elon Musk emphasizing its importance to employees back in November 2022. However, despite efforts, combating spam has proven to be a more formidable challenge than anticipated. This situation was worsened by significant downsizing within Twitter’s Trust & Safety team and a prolonged vacancy in the Head of Safety position following the departures of Ella Irwin and Yoel Roth under Musk’s leadership.

Moreover, advancements in AI have complicated spam mitigation efforts. Earlier reports this year highlighted challenges, including Musk’s initiative to implement a payment requirement for Verification, which failed to deter spammers. Bots with verified blue checks were observed replying to posts with automated responses, revealing their non-human nature.

Furthermore, a recent expose detailed the proliferation of spam promoting adult content through explicit replies containing links in user bios. Musk’s concerns about the magnitude of spam were evident when he sought to retract from the $44 billion Twitter deal, citing the company’s lack of transparency regarding bot numbers. Nonetheless, Musk now boasts about X’s unprecedented traffic, leaving ambiguity about whether these figures encompass bots and spam.

According to the announcement from X’s Safety team, the upcoming initiative will employ a broad approach to weeding out spam and bots, potentially reducing follower counts, a common occurrence during bot sweeps on the platform. X has also provided a form for users inadvertently affected by the sweep to submit appeals.

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Featured image was created with the assistance of DALL·E by ChatGPT

Huey Yee Ong

Hello, from one tech geek to another. Not your beloved TechCrunch writer, but a writer with an avid interest in the fast-paced tech scenes and all the latest tech mojo. I bring with me a unique take towards tech with a honed applied psychology perspective to make tech news digestible. In other words, I deliver tech news that is easy to read.

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