Twitter May Be Preparing To ‘Purge’ Nearly 10 Million Users Who Post Porn

If you love posting or viewing porn and other NSFW photos and videos on Twitter, we have some bad news for you.

According to SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst Robert Peck and his team, Twitter is “likely preparing to purge up to 10 million users from the app because they post too much porn.”

Peck made the sobering prediction in a note to investors ahead of Twitter’s April 28 Q1 earnings call, reports Business Insider.

The purge would be a big gamble for Twitter when you consider they only grew by 14 million users in the first quarter of 2015, and would likely be punished by investors.

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Peck is concerned because “basic searches” on Twitter produce results riddled with pornography, and he has seen some big name brands’ ads appear next to that adult content. Nielsen recently halted a Twitter ad campaign for this reason.

Peck believes Twitter is aware of the problem and will employ technology to root out and disable the accounts of people tweeting graphic material in violation of Twitter’s “terms of service” (TOS). “Bears” (people who think TWTR will decline in price) believe this could lead to a loss of users and the people who enjoy following them.

Peck notes:

Bearish investors point out that one can still see users that that are violating Twitter’s ToS and we would expect these users will need to be purged at some point – estimates put this users range ~10m users.

… Twitter’s technology should hopefully be able to identify these users, but it may take some time. One can perform basic searches to see the issue.

… Bears believe that there must come a time when Twitter’s technology can purge these users. While a one-time purge of these users would impact MAUs [monthly active users], Bears also point out that, in addition, followers of these users could also churn off which could weigh on MAU growth (sometimes the non-compliant user has thousands of users). We want to underscore that we think Twitter takes ToS violations seriously, and is likely diligently working on this issue (or would address immediately if currently unaware). Further, we suspect this is a short to mid term issue, as longer term we presume the issue can be solved.

Peck also noted that CEO Dick Costolo offered “no change or update on the issue of potential ‘not safe for work’ content or users and monetization. The company stated that it deploys filters in an attempt to keep up with a very dynamic platform and those filters are not perfect.”

“Twitter is one of the few large social media platforms that doesn’t apply a lot of censorship rules to our images so by default it’s a network tool in the adult industry,” adult actress Mercedes Carrera told the Daily Beast. “I don’t think adult content is the reason Twitter’s stock plummeted but adult content is always an easy scapegoat in society, always.”

A Twitter spokesperson told Adweek they “are committed to providing a safe environment for brands to build their business, and our product team is working to fix the issue.