Jan 31, 2018

More than a million fake Twitter accounts vanish after NYT report

Photo: Richard James Mendoza / NurPhoto via Getty Images

Following a massive New York Times investigation into the business of buying and selling fake Twitter accounts, "more than a million followers have disappeared from the accounts of dozens of prominent Twitter users," per the Times.

Why it matters: Tech giants like Twitter and Facebook have been in hot water for several months over their involvement in Russia's election interference. Twitter didn't comment on whether or not they were "purging fake accounts," NYT reports, but many high-profile people have lost a "substantial number of followers."

  • Sens. Jerry Moran and Richard Blumenthal requested that an investigation of Devumi, the company that was selling fake accounts based on real people, be opened by the Federal Trade Commission, per the Times.
  • Twitter board member, Martha Lane Fox, reportedly lost a little over 46,000 of the 65,000 fake followers she purchased after the Times report.

Go deeper

Private equity returns fell behind stocks over the past decade

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. private equity returns fell just below S&P 500 returns for the 10-year period ending last June, according to a report released Monday morning by Bain & Company.

Why it matters: Private equity markets itself as beating public markets over long-term time horizons, and usually providing an illiquidity premium to boot. These new performance figures not only dent such claims, but provide fresh ammunition to critics of public pension investment in private equity funds.

Why Apple may move to open iOS

Photo illustration: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Apple may finally allow iPhone owners to set email or browsing apps other than Apple's own as their preferred defaults, according to a Bloomberg report from last week.

The big picture: Customers have long clamored for the ability to choose their preferred apps, and now Apple, like other big tech companies, finds itself under increased scrutiny over anything perceived as anticompetitive.