Late Friday, the Washington Post published a report stating that Twitter suspended about 70 million accounts in May and June of this year in order to push back on accusations that the platform helps spread misinformation.
The article, which cited leaked company data, said the suspensions would drastically reduce the number of monthly active users. Twitter said it had 336 million monthly active users during the first quarter of 2018.
Twitter stock tanked nearly 10 percent Monday morning but rallied slightly to close at $44.14, a 5.4 percent decrease from Friday. Investor fears appeared to be partly alleviated by statements from Twitter’s chief financial officer, Ned Segal, who said the fake accounts are not usually included in counts of active users.
“Most accounts we remove are not included in our reported metrics as they have not been active on the platform for 30 days or more, or we catch them at signup and they are never counted,” Segal tweeted Monday afternoon.
Segal suggested the article misrepresented how Twitter handles suspicious accounts.
“If we removed [70 million] accounts from our reported metrics, you would hear directly from us,” he continued. “This article reflects us getting better at improving the health of the service.”
The next quarterly earnings call for Twitter is scheduled for July 27.
President Donald Trump used the report to blast several media outlets in a tweet released Saturday.
“Twitter is getting rid of fake accounts at a record pace,” Trump tweeted. “Will that include the Failing New York Times and propaganda machine for Amazon, the Washington Post, who constantly quote anonymous sources that, in my opinion, don’t exist - They will both be out of business in 7 years!”
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