The Twitter Purge: 143,000 Apps and 70 Million Accounts Removed

A few days ago, Twitter announced that it had purged 143,000 apps it deemed as malicious from its platform. Removed apps were found to be guilty of violating the company’s policies and were removed between April and June. The company also announced that it will be investing in building improved tools and processes to stop malicious apps faster.

The purge was mentioned in a company blog that announced new requirements for developers who develop apps using Twitter’s API. It read, “We do not tolerate the use of our APIs to produce spam, manipulate conversations, or invade the privacy of people using Twitter.”

Earlier media reports had revealed that Twitter initiated a massive drive to clear out bots and trolls in May. The campaign, which lasted until June, suspended more than 70 million fake accounts, 20% of its monthly active users.

Many Twitter celebrities saw drops in their follower count. Ashton Kutcher lost a million followers, so did Shaquille O’Neal, Oprah Winfrey lost about 1.4 million followers, Ellen DeGeneres lost two.

Twitter’s own Twitter account lost about 7.7 million followers, 12% of its total followers; the company’s CEO Jack Dorsey lost about 230,000.

Twitter has grown to become one of the most widely used social media platforms around the world; it ranks number 6 in terms of popularity and has more than 70 million monthly average users. The platform is also President Donald Trump’s favored communication medium. He lost about 340,000 followers.

Twitter Was Under Pressure

Back in January, a New York Times investigation found that a small company in Florida sold fake followers and other social media engagement to hundreds of thousands of users around the world, including politicians, models, actors and authors. That story lead to congressmen calling Federal Trade Commission to intervene in the matter.

In addition to the accounts and apps purges, Twitter also introduced a new way for developers to request access to its API. The new process is meant to enable Twitter to have more visibility and control over how developers use its platform and public data.

The micro-blogging platform has also replaced its pistol emoji with a water gun.