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How long was Twitter miscounting its daily users?

Answer: Three straight years.

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Twitter is having quite the time in the headlines recently. Following all the brouhaha that eventually led to Tesla CEO and Twitter extraordinaire (or not, depending on who you ask) Elon Musk successfully offering to purchase the platform, the platform is once again topping the news. This time, though, it’s because the platform was over-reporting its user numbers.

In its earnings release for the first quarter of this year, Twitter revealed that it had been overstating the number of daily users on its platform for, wait for it, three years straight. From 2019 to 2021, the company overcounted its daily users by up to 1.9 million each quarter. Apparently it happened because the platform was counting multiple accounts from the same user as all being active.

And this isn’t even the first time this has happened, either. Back in 2017, Twitter found that it had been over-reporting user numbers by 1 million to 2 million for *checks notes* three years. You’d think someone would have figured out how to prevent the same mistake from happening twice, but alas, here we are. It’s like a trend now — get ready for the report in 2027 that they overcounted by 2 million to 3 million.