Twitter bans bulk tweeting to fight spam

By : |February 22, 2018 0

In a bid to fight spam and political propaganda bot, Twitter has announced a set of changes and new developer guidelines meant to fight off automated actions and to make it harder for “tweetdeckers” to flood the social network.

Starting on March 23rd, 2018, apps will need to be able to prevent bulk tweeting or face “enforcement action, up to and including the suspension of associated applications and accounts.”

Twitter says these actions are “an important step in ensuring we stay ahead of malicious activity targeting the crucial conversations taking place on Twitter — including elections in the United States and around the world.” The micro-blogging site had hinted to the plan last month, when it revealed that over 50,000 accounts were linked to Russian propaganda efforts.

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The move was the latest by Twitter to enforce rules aimed at curbing disinformation, propaganda and provocation.  Since the 2016 election, Twitter and others discovered how “bots” had been used to sow political divisions and spread hoaxes.

“One of the most common spam violations we see is the use of multiple accounts and the Twitter developer platform to attempt to artificially amplify or inflate the prominence of certain tweets,” Roth wrote. “To be clear: Twitter prohibits any attempt to use automation for the purposes of posting or disseminating spam, and such behavior may result in enforcement action.”

Posting duplicative content, replies, or mentions from an array of accounts one controls, by hand or by bot, is forbidden, according to Twitter. These new rules, however, don’t apply to alerts for “weather, emergency, or other public service announcements of broad community interest” — so a tsunami warning, for instance, could be posted across a lot of different accounts at once.

The platform is updating Tweetdeck to reflect the new guidance and to show that it’s serious in implementing its rules. Tweetdeck users will no longer be able to bulk tweet, retweet, like or follow using several accounts at the same time.

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