Between May and June of this year, Twitter said it deleted more than 143,000 apps that violated its policies prohibiting developers from using its APIs to automate spam, abuse, or violate the privacy of its users, among other rules, part of the continuing effort to clean up a conversation on the site and stem spam.
Like Facebook and Google’s YouTube service, Twitter has also come under watch-list for failing to prevent Russian propaganda outfits from creating accounts on its service and spreading misinformation prior to the U.S. presidential election.
Yoel Roth and Rob Johnson from Twitter said on a blog:
These changes enable us to have more visibility and control over how developers use our platform and public data from the people using our service
These changes are part of Twitter’s efforts to avoid the public security integrity that has breached on its larger rival, Facebook Inc. after it was revealed that one of its outside developers gave information on millions of users to Cambridge Analytica.
Since then, Facebook has made a slew of changes to limit how much user data is available to developers and other third parties. Apple Inc. has also changed its App Store rules to limit how developers use information about iPhone owners’ friends and other contacts.
Twitter also announced a new developer account application process that includes use case reviews and policy compliance checks, as well as new protections to prevent the registration of spammy and low-quality apps, Twitter also introduced a new option for people to report suspected violations of its platform policies.
There are hundreds of other useful and harmless apps on Twitter, but the social network has also been plagued by ones that automate abuse, leveraging Twitter’s tools to violate its own policies. Twitter apps have been created that direct-message spam, help carry out fake information and assist governments in conducting online surveillance. Now, the social network is cracking down on them, as part of a wider effort to make Twitter more secure.