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Elon Musk Wants To Get Rid Of Bots On Twitter Despite Half His Followers Being ‘Fake’

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Elon Musk Wants To Get Rid Of Bots On Twitter Despite Half His Followers Being ‘Fake’

Bots are facing the chopping block following Elon Musk's Twitter takeover, which means the new social media overlord could lose loads of followers.

According to TIME Magazine, 48 per cent of Musk's 89.8 million followers are bots or fake accounts.

Twitter auditing tool SparkToro explains that these accounts are 'unreachable' and you 'will not see the account’s tweets (either because they’re spam, bots, propaganda, etc. or because they’re no longer active on Twitter).'

Musk announced to the world that he planned to 'increase trust' and would work on 'defeating the spam bots' after he revealed he had purchased the social media platform last week for $44 billion ($AUD 61.6billion, £33.3 billion).

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"I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans," he said.

"Twitter has tremendous potential—I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it."

If you have never come across a spam bot online, let us explain. Bots on Twitter are automated accounts that are designed to mimic the activity of real users on the social media platform.

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They can be used to spread misinformation or scams.

They're commonly found online spruiking crypto-based scams, with Musk taking aim at the malevolent fake accounts on Twitter in a live TED interview mid-last month.

Musk said that fake spam accounts 'make the product much worse'.

"If I had a Dogecoin for every crypto scam I saw, we’d have 100 billion Dogecoin," he said.

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Although Musk does have a higher than average fake followership, it is not uncommon for prominent social media personalities to have some level of bot following.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates boasts a fake follower percentages of 46 per cent, while ex-US President Barack Obama has 44 per cent, according to SparkToro.

Celebrities like Kim Kardashian - who boasts 72.2 million followers - has a fake follower count at approximately 45 per cent, and Taylor Swift has a low 28.7 per cent.

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Current Twitter policies are already in place to address spam bots and fake accounts, but the issue remains a consistent thorn in the side of the social media platform.

How Musk intends to solve the problem by authenticating 'all real humans' on the website remains to be seen, as the tech billionaire is yet to elaborate on his plans.

Featured Image Credit: Sueddeutsche Zeitung Photo / Alamy Stock Photo. StLegat / Alamy Stock Photo.

Topics: Elon Musk, Twitter, News, Technology

Rachel Lang
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