Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal says that his company suspends “over half a million spam accounts every day” and often before anyone even notices that they exist.
The revelation comes as Agrawal went on a Twitter thread rampage to outline the work that the company is doing to try and ensure that spam accounts don’t overrun its platform. This comes after recent spam account numbers caused prospective owner Elon Musk to abruptly call a halt to his takeover.
While that deal is now said to be progressing, Agrawal has been tweeting up a storm to explain what Twitter is doing about the spam problem — a problem few would argue against the existence of.
The Twitter thread included Agrawal confirming that spam is a real problem and that it “isn’t just ‘binary’ (human / not human). The most advanced spam campaigns use combinations of coordinated humans + automation.” He then went on to say that fighting spam is “dynamic” and that building a tool that deals with it won’t work in the long term because it’ll be worked around. Spam changes, and that means the tools do, too.
And then came the number.
We suspend over half a million spam accounts every day, usually before any of you even see them on Twitter. We also lock millions of accounts each week that we suspect may be spam – if they can’t pass human verification challenges (captchas, phone verification, etc).
That sounds like a lot, and it is. But given the sheer scale of Twitter, maybe it isn’t all that high after all? Regardless, the issue Musk seems to have is whether any of the data Twitter is coming up with is accurate. Something he appears to doubt based on his response to the thread.
That acquisition is going great, then.