Twitter to make login via phone number or email mandatory to fight abusive bots

New Twitter users will now have to confirm an email address or phone number to register an account.

Twitter is making changes to address abuse and malicious automated accounts that exist on the social media platform because it has been criticised immensely for not doing enough to curb harassment and manipulation on the platform.

Twitter has seen a dramatic increase in the number of spam accounts or automated accounts being created each week, the social media platform said in a blog post on 26 June.

The company claims that they have introduced new measures to fight abuse and trolls, new policies on hateful conduct and violent extremism, and are bringing in new technology and staff to fight spam and abuse.

According to statistics, in May 2018, their systems identified and challenged about 10 million potentially spammy or automated accounts per week. The number in December 2017 was 6.4 million in September 2017, 3.2 million.

Number of accounts challenged. Image: Twitter Blog

Number of accounts challenged. Image: Twitter Blog

They are removing 214 percent more accounts that violated their spam policies.

Twitter users now, under the new rules, will be required to confirm either an email address or phone number while signing up for an account. Twitter will also reduce the visibility of spam accounts.

There is still a lot of work to be done though as "inauthentic accounts, spam, and malicious automation disrupt everyone’s experience on Twitter," and it's a long journey for Twitter for it to "be done with our efforts to identify and prevent attempts to manipulate conversations on our platform."

They have also recommended that to protect security on Twitter, users should enable two-factor authentication; regularly review any third-party applications and not re-use their passwords across multiple platforms or websites.

Earlier this year in March, Twitter suspended several popular accounts known for stealing tweets or mass-retweeting tweets into manufactured virality.

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