Has YOUR Twitter account been affected? Social media site continues to cull users in a bid to clean up the platform

  • Large amounts of users have reported losing hundreds of followers recently 
  • It is the latest purge of users from the site, with millions removed in the last year
  • The site is focusing on integrity and is getting rid of ‘low-quality’ accounts  
  • Twitter is focusing on those who have been previously suspended or banned
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Twitter has started banning a huge amount of accounts, with many users taking to the site to bemoan the loss of hundreds of followers in a single day. 

The cull started yesterday and had such an impact on numbers that the ‘Twitterverse’ was swept with the hashtag #TwitterPurge.

The firm is ruthlessly removing accounts, with those who have been previously suspended or banned most likely to see their account deactivated.

It marks the latest in a string of moves from the site to clean up the platform as the San-Francisco based firm now places a premium on integrity among its users.

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Twitter is ridding its site of a large amount of accounts as part of its ongoing battle to clean up the platform

In a recent interview, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said the company intends to focus on politics in the common months.

He said: ‘Election integrity is our first priority this year.

‘We need to make sure that we are considering not just policy changes, but also product changes to help alleviate some of these concerns,’ he said.

Twitter has been in an ongoing battle with its user base for some time, after it was revealed the 2016 US presidential election was soiled by Russian disinformation efforts, which were spread using social networks, including Twitter. 

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The purge marks the first notable action since Twitter declared its intentions to ostracise accounts it deemed to be breaching its guidelines earlier this week. 

Twitter has cracked down on ‘low quality’ accounts recently, with the seven-day suspension of Infowars host Alex Jones a high-profile move.  

Alex Jones’ account was placed in read-only mode for a week, which allowed him to browse Twitter posts, but stopped him form interacting with other users by tweeting, retweeting or liking posts.


The firm is ruthlessly culling accounts, with those who have been previously suspended or banned most likely to see their account deactivated. In a recent interview, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey (pictured) said the platform intends to focus on politics in the common months


Twitter has cracked down on ‘low quality’ accounts recently, with the seven-day suspension of Infowars host Alex Jones (pictured) a high-profile move. Alex Jones’ account was placed in read-only mode for a week

Mr Jones was also required to delete the tweet that also included a snippet of video, Twitter said.

It announced earlier this week its plan to remove the accounts of those who have tried to evade an account suspension. 

The company says that the accounts in question are users who have been previously suspended on Twitter for their abusive behaviour, or for trying to evade a prior suspension.  


Twitter has been on this mission for several months as it places a premium on integrity among its users. Those fortunate to have their account still have taken to the social media site, using the hashtag #TwitterPurge.

WHAT IS TWITTER’S POLICY ON HATE SPEECH?

Twitter says it does not tolerate behaviour that harasses, intimidates, or uses fear to silence other social network users.

Twitter users that violate these rules could find their content deleted, or their access to the account suspended by the social network.

What does Twitter forbid?

According to the company, it will remove any tweets that do the following —

  • Threaten physical violence
  • Promote attacks on the basis of their race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease 
  • References to mass murder, violent events, or specific means of violence in which such groups are the primary targets or victims
  • Incites fear about a certain protected group
  • Repeated use of non-consensual slurs, epithets, racist and sexist tropes
  • Content designed to degrade a specific user     

Twitter users can target individuals or specific groups in a number of manners, for example using the @ mention feature, or tagging a photo. 

How does Twitter enforce these rules?

According to the company, the first thing it does whenever an account or tweet is flagged as inappropriate is check the context.

Twitter says: ‘some Tweets may seem to be abusive when viewed in isolation, but may not be when viewed in the context of a larger conversation.

‘While we accept reports of violations from anyone, sometimes we also need to hear directly from the target to ensure that we have proper context.’

Twitter says the total number of reports received around an individual post or account does not impact whether or not something will be removed.

However, it could help Twitter prioritise the order in which it looks through flagged tweets and accounts.

What happens if you violate Twitter’s policy? 

The consequences for violating our rules will vary depending on the severity of the violation and the person’s previous record of violations, Twitter says. 

The penalties range from requesting a user voluntarily remove an offending tweet, to suspending an entire account. 

The announcement came in the form of a tweet and was sparse on details but was a clear indication of the firm’s intentions going forward.  

This is the latest in a series of culls from Twitter, with The Washington post reporting last month that the social media platform had rid itself of 70 million accounts between May and June of this year. 

This marks a significant uptick in the rate it is removing accounts. 

It was revealed that the company started this movement during the end of 2017, where it got rid of 58 million  user accounts in the final three months of 2017, according to new data obtained by The Associated Press.

Twitter flagged fake accounts as those which had been dormant for at least a month.  

Investors have previously voiced concerns the suspension of malicious accounts could could affect user growth on the platform but this was appeased when the firm’s CFO announced the removal of bots and unethical accounts had not affected the company’s metrics. 

The San Francisco-based company has been struggling with user growth, when compared to rivals including Instagram and Facebook.

Twitter’s user base is steadily shrinking, with the company losing a million monthly active users in Q2, with 335 million overall users and 68 million in the US.


Twitter announced earlier this week its plan to remove the accounts of those who have tried to evade an account suspension (pictured)

WHO HAS TWITTER BANNED IN THE PAST?

Twitter announced in November 2017 it would begin banning accounts affiliated with ‘hate groups’.


In March, former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson was banned for violating hate speech rules

The news followed years of criticism from users that the site allowed neo-nazi, white supremacist and other extremist groups to spread abusive messages.

Twitter suspended the accounts of several leaders of the far-right group Britain First in December for breaking its rules on hate speech.

In March, former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson was banned for violating rules governing ‘hateful conduct’.

The site announced it would soon undertake stronger measures to crack down on online trolls in May.

Despite sweeping bans, the site has come under criticism for not doing enough to purge itself of abusive users.

Last month, actor Seth Rogan lashed out at Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for continuing to verify the accounts of white supremacists.

He tweeted: ‘I’ve been DMing with @Jack about his bizarre need to verify white supremacists on his platform for the last 8 months or so, and after all the exchanges, I’ve reached a conclusion: the dude simply does not seem to give a f**k.’

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