Twitter CEO says it suspends over half a million spam accounts each day

Twitter (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal says that the company suspends upwards of 500,000 accounts per day.
  • Agrawal was responding to the recent discussion about spam accounts on the platform.
  • Elon Musk's buyout of Twitter was temporarily on the rocks thanks to spam accounts.

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.

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That acquisition is going great, then.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.