Twitter is getting smoked after deleting 70 million suspicious accounts over the past 2 months

  • The Washington Post reported late Friday that Twitter deleted 70 million accounts in May and June, which the company confirmed to Business Insider. 
  • Twitter shares fell more than 8% when markets opened Monday.
  • The suspensions could hurt Twitter's account-growth metrics when it reports earnings this month.
  • Follow Twitter's stock price in real-time here. 

Twitter sank more than 8% Monday morning after The Washington Post reported that the social-media company deleted more than 70 million accounts in May and June. Although the report came out on Friday, it wasn't until after markets had already closed. 

The rate of account suspensions has more than doubled since October, when Twitter told Congress it had found evidence of Russian bot accounts that aimed to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. In June, Twitter said its systems "identified and challenged more than 9.9 million potentially Spammy or automated accounts per week."

In a statement, a Twitter spokesperson told Business Insider that "this is nothing new and is part of our ongoing work to improve the health of the public conversation on Twitter. "

On Saturday morning, President Donald Trump praised Twitter's deletion of the accounts, and called on the company to also suspend accounts of the New York Times and Washington Post. 

"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!"

The suspensions could impact Twitter's daily- and monthly-active-user statistics when it reports second-quarter earnings ahead of the opening bell on Friday July 27, an anonymous source told the paper. However, a Twitter spokesperson said it has never included spam accounts in the active user numbers that it reports to shareholders. 

"It's hard to believe that 70 million accounts were affected when Twitter has only 336 million monthly active users (MAU)," Michael Pachter, an analyst for Wedbush, told Reuters. ""My guess is that a large number of these suspended accounts were dormant ... it should have little impact on the company."

Shares of Twitter have gained 75% since the beginning of 2018.

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SEE ALSO: Twitter reportedly suspended over 70 million accounts in May and June to fight its misinformation problem

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