Tech | February 5, 2018 2:37 pm

Is Twitter’s Bot Crackdown a False Hustle?

Twitter has benefited from fake accounts for more than a decade.

Twitter's flagging policy
Twitter is finally doing something about all the bullying. (Jaap Arriens/ NurPhoto)
NurPhoto via Getty Images

Twitter has a history of ignoring its fake user problem. The New York Times revealed last week how film critic Richard Roeper and others have purchased followers from Devumi, a company that specializes in developing fake accounts. Twitter released a statement condemning bots and has spent the last week cracking down on fake accounts. Nick Bilton of Vanity Fair remains skeptical of Twitter’s crackdown, as the company has profited from the boost bots give its total active users number since its early days. Despite years of reporting from Bilton and others on the relative ease of buying and deploying bots, Twitter refused to confront its bot problem until last week.