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Twitter claims 5% of accounts are fake, after pre-flotation purge

Twitter has claimed that “less than” 5% of its accounts are spam accounts, and has announced a massive purge of the debris ahead of its stock market flotation.

The social network has been dogged by reports that as many as 20% of its over 200 million users are fake.

Last year, ahead of its own flotation, Facebook said that 83 million of its accounts were "fake" and therefore of no financial value to advertisers or investors.

Twitter has taken on the vexed spam issue directly in its papers lodged with the stock market ahead of its flotation.

"If spam increases, this could hurt our reputation for delivering relevant content or reduce user growth and user engagement and result in continuing operational cost to us," it said in the filing.

The papers state that Twitter has its 215 million users, although Global World Index placed it at 288 million, ahead of the purge.