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Twitter unifies its misinformation and spam prevention teams amid bots’ war

Twitter unifies its misinformation and spam prevention teams amid bots’ war

As the Twitter-Elon Musk legal battle gets murkier, the micro-blogging platform is reportedly merging its spam and misinformation teams to better tackle the spread of fake and harmful posts on its service.

The new group is set to be called ‘Health Products and Services (HPS)’, and will be led by Ella Irwin, Twitter‘s VP of Product.

Twitter confirmed this development to TechCrunch on Wednesday, without divulging further details.

“The reorganisation reflects our continued commitment to prioritize and focus our teams in pursuit of our goals,” said the company.

“Stopping bad actors, and creating more transparency around how we support a healthy platform, while also helping promote and encourage diverse thoughts and conversations continues to be foundational to everything we do and how we organise our teams,” the company added.

The presence of bots on Twitter is the crux of the legal battle between its CEO Parag Agrawal and Musk, that resulted in the cancellation of the $44 billion takeover deal by the Tesla CEO.

The development comes amid a new controversy involving the company’s former head of security, Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, who alleged that Twitter lied about the actual number of bots on its platform and misled federal regulators about users’ data safety.

Agrawal on Tuesday lashed out at Zatko, saying his false claims are “riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies, and presented without important context.”

“There are news reports outlining claims about Twitter’s privacy, security, and data protection practices that were made by Mudge Zatko, a former Twitter executive who was terminated in January 2022 for ineffective leadership and poor performance,” Agrawal said in an internal message sent to the staff.

Zatko also alleged that the Indian government forced the micro-blogging platform to hire a “government agent” and allow him access to users’ sensitive data, a claim that was quickly trashed by Twitter.

Agrawal said that this is frustrating and confusing to read, “given Mudge was accountable for many aspects of this work that he is now inaccurately portraying more than six months after his termination.”

Amid the ongoing legal dispute, Musk has also challenged Agrawal to a public debate on fake accounts and spam.

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