Twitter has suspended KTN News (@KTNNews) account

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If you’re an active Twitter user you are probably aware that the company has over the last few months been suspending accounts as it seeks to reduce the flow of misinformation on the platform.

Millions of fake and suspicious accounts have so far been deleted and some of your favourite tweeps even fell victim to this. In May and June alone Twitter suspended more than 70 million accounts and the pace continued in July and even October.

KTN News official Twitter account with more than 470,000 followers is the latest account to be suspended.

Remember KTN runs two accounts, @KTNKenya for its home channel and @KTNNews for its 24-hour dedicated news channel which was unveiled in 2015. It’s not clear why the KTN News account was suspended but one of the reasons Twitter suspends accounts is because they are spammy, or just plain fake.  The company also suspends accounts if it suspects they have been hacked or compromised. These type of accounts are suspended until it can be secured and restored to the account owner.

Accounts can also be suspended if they have been reported to Twitter as violating Twitter rules surrounding abuse. ‘’When an account engages in abusive behaviour, like sending threats to others or impersonating other accounts, we may suspend it temporarily or, in some cases, permanently.’’

So which of these rules did KTN News twitter handlers violate? That we’re not sure.

It should, however, be noted that Twitter’s efforts to suspend fake accounts has doubled since last year. According to a report published by the Washington Post in July, this year,  Twitter investigates bots and other fake accounts through an internal project known as “Operation Megaphone” through which it buys suspicious accounts and then investigates their connections.

In a blog post published by the company in June, Twitter said they had identified and challenged more than 9.9 million potentially spammy or automated accounts per week. That’s up from 6.4 million in December 2017, and 3.2 million in September.

‘’Twitter fights spam and malicious automation strategically and at scale. Our focus is increasingly on proactively identifying problematic accounts and behavior rather than waiting until we receive a report.’’ the company said.

‘’We focus on developing machine learning tools that identify and take action on networks of spammy or automated accounts automatically. This lets us tackle attempts to manipulate conversations on Twitter at scale, across languages and time zones, without relying on reactive reports,’’ it added.

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Nixon Kanali
Kanali is a freelance tech journalist based in Nairobi. For product reviews, pitches, guest posts, or interviews drop me an e-mail nickcanali@gmail.com/nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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