The fact that Twitter is taking action against bots and fake news creators is a move in the right direction.
According to reports in Washington Post, Twitter has suspended over one million accounts in recent months and activated tighter systems to spot bots.
More importantly, the social media giant has announced moves to block mass tweets. What this means is henceforth a person cannot tweet the same message or similar messages from his multiple accounts.
Also, mass likes or retweets through these differing accounts or through bots will be cracked down upon and Twitter has already reported some success in this area.
Finally, the social media giant has stated that sign up procedures to create an account will be made tougher with more information required from a user before he or she can open an account.
Such moves are encouraging and some believe that after such measures, we will have a clearer picture. Many prominent leaders and celebrities are believed to have fake followers and with such measures, a fall in followers is expected. This positively impacts those who have ‘real followers’ and more people will gravitate towards them to hear what they have to say.
While removing ‘bots’, fake accounts, and fake news is important, Twitter’s moves fail to address major issues.
The recent trolling of Sushma Swaraj by Modi supporters , the rape threat to a Congress leader’s child were done by real people, who meant what they said.
Thus, cyber-bullying and a wish to hurt and intimidate other users through words and threats remain unchecked.
Twitter must increase security protocols, especially for women who are more likely to face such abuse. It must also realise that blocking such users is not enough; it needs to tie-up with the police and arrest such people. Only then can a true cleanup take place says social activists.