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Registering for Twitter will now require verifying an email or phone number

Published 6/27/2018 by IanDorfman

Twitter is now tackling the issues it has with automated account creation and spam users attempting to spread disinformation and malicious content to actual users of the social network.

Yoel Roth, Platform Policy manager, and Del Harvey, Vice President of Trust and Safety, detailed Twitter's approach to this issue. The post they co-wrote detailed statistics such as an increase in spam and automated accounts detected and challenged, as well as a reduction in reports of spam that have been reported, with a 10 percent drop in spam reports from searching also being mentioned.

A four-step process was announced in the post as well:

  1. Reducing the visibility of suspicious accounts in Tweet and account metrics
  2. Improving Twitter's signup process
  3. Auditing existing accounts for signs of automated signup
  4. Expansion of Twitter's malicious behavior detection systems

From these four steps, the major implementations are real-time account metric updating, requiring new Twitter accounts to confirm an email address or phone number when signing up for Twitter, removing spam accounts that previously made it through spam filtering mistakenly, and tests such as reCAPTCHA or resetting a password for accounts that tweet the same hashtag or at the same user without a response.

Harvey and Roth recommend users enable two-factor authentication, review what third-party apps use their Twitter account data, not re-using the same password across multiple websites and services, and, if possible, using a physical FIDO universal 2nd factor security key to verify logins to Twitter and other services that support this method.

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