Spam accounts: Elon Musk puts Twitter’s claim to test on social media platform

Tesla CEO, Elon Musk is not yet convinced that Twitter has over 95% real human accounts and less than 5% spam and he is currently putting that to test via a poll on his Twitter page.

The billionaire, who has put his $44 billion deal to buy the company on hold, believes that there are more spam or bot accounts on Twitter than the company has claimed.

Testing the claim through his over 93 million followers on Twitter, Musk posted: “Twitter claims that >95% of daily active users are real, unique humans. Does anyone have that experience?”

He then provided two options for people to vote: One, laughter emoji for real humans, and the second option a bot icon.

After 13 hours of the poll, over 1.3 million Twitter users had voted with 52.5 per cent in favour of humans and 47.5 per cent in favour of bots, as of the time of filling this report. The poll is to last for 24 hours.

What Twitter is saying

Twitter CEO, Parag Agrawal had earlier defended the claim on the percentage of spam on the platform noting that over 500,000 spam accounts are being suspended daily.

  • He said: “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).”
  • The hard challenge is that many accounts which look fake superficially – are actually real people. And some of the spam accounts which are actually the most dangerous – and cause the most harm to our users – can look totally legitimate on the surface,” Agrawal added.
  • He said the Twitter team updates its systems and rules constantly to remove as much spam as possible, without inadvertently suspending real people or adding unnecessary friction for real people when they use Twitter
  • Now, we know we aren’t perfect at catching spam. And so this is why, after all the spam removal I talked about above, we know some still slips through. We measure this internally. And every quarter, we have estimated that <5% of reported mDAU for the quarter are spam accounts,” he stated.

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