The Wall Street Journal: Twitter to purge millions of suspended accounts, but active-user numbers won’t change

Twitter Inc. said it is subtracting some accounts it has flagged for suspicious activity from the follower numbers of its hundreds of millions of users, part of the social-media company’s efforts to clamp down on abusive activity.

Twitter TWTR, +0.27%   is removing accounts that had been locked due to an unusual change in behavior such as the sudden sharing of misleading links, sensitive information and other types of problematic content. Removing the locked accounts will reduce follower counts by about 6% across the service, the company said.

But Twitter said the move won’t affect its numbers of monthly or daily active users, metrics closely watched on Wall Street as signals of engagement on the platform. The company, which is slated to report second-quarter results July 27, last reported 336 million monthly active users.

Twitter’s share price fell nearly 9% on Monday after the Washington Post reported Twitter was accelerating efforts to crack down on spam accounts. The stock recovered after the social network’s finance chief Ned Segal in a tweet said most suspended accounts aren’t active, so they don’t show up in those metrics. Shares rose slightly Wednesday.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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