When viewing the profile of most Twitter accounts, you’ll encounter a “You might like” section.
Here’s what the “Show more” section looks like when selected while viewing the profile of Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey:
Recently, however, I have noticed that Twitter handles accounts differently in this capacity.
UK General Election
The UK general election is taking place today.
Let’s start with @ElaineKirk (highlighted above):
Note how the “You might like” section contains two accounts (rather than three) while viewing the profile of the (inauthentic) @ElaineKirk account.
“Angela Cook # Back Boris #Never Corbyn” (@Angela_C00k), for example, has tweeted more than three thousand times since Monday (meaning the account, on average, has recently been churning out ~800 tweets per day). The vast majority of said tweets (92.6%) have been retweets and the account, on several occasions, has averaged more than 100 tweets per hour (in other words, the account’s primary function is false amplification):
According to Twitter Rules, more specifically within their documentation around platform manipulation and spam, it is not permitted to “use Twitter’s services in a manner intended to artificially amplify or suppress information or engage in behavior that manipulates or disrupts people’s experience on Twitter:”
Here are more examples (10) of inauthentic (pro-Brexit) Twitter accounts that exist solely to distort the public debate (and that continue to violate Twitter Rules):
Each of these are accounts that contain default profile images and default background images. Additionally, each account has, on average, tweeted more than 100 times per day since being created.
Social Forensics can state with certainty — based on tweet activity and after conducting thorough (Following/Followers) network analysis — that each of these accounts violate Twitter Rules.
Of the 10 accounts highlighted above, 4 profiles lack “You might like” sections altogether (3 profiles include 1 recommended account; 1 profile contains 2 recommended accounts; 2 profiles contain 3 recommended accounts).
None of these inauthentic account examples (including accounts whose profile contains three “You might like” accounts) provide Twitter users with the “Show more” option (that was discussed earlier specific to Jack Dorsey’s account):
OK, So What’s Your Point?
Recent product changes around how the “You might like” section is handled indicate that Twitter would rather hide accounts engaging in inauthentic activity than remove them from their platform.
Please test this out on your own by reviewing the profiles of your favorite inauthentic Twitter accounts!
Geoff Golberg is an NYC-based researcher (and entrepreneur) who is fascinated by graph visualization/network analysis — more specifically, when applied to social networks and blockchain activity. His experience spans structured finance, ad tech, and digital marketing/customer acquisition, both at startups and public companies.
Geoff is the Founder/CEO/Janitor of Social Forensics, where he spends (far too much of) his time developing techniques and building tools to identify social media manipulation (of various flavors!).
Read about Geoff’s war with Twitter here!