Twitter Policy Update Blocks Mass Tweets Across Multiple Accounts

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Twitter today shared details on a new policy update to stop malicious activities on its platform.

If you use apps to automate and manage Twitter activity, you better reconsider other options.

“Do not (and do not allow your users to) simultaneously post identical or substantially similar content to multiple accounts,” writes Yoel Roth on the Twitter blog.

The micro-blogging site will stop a user from simultaneously liking or retweeting a post, or following an account, from multiple accounts.

Hence, your service must stop a user from publishing a tweet from several accounts he or she controls.

The Twitter policy update affects TweetDeck users the most. They can no longer choose multiple accounts to automate the following:

  • Posts
  • Tweets
  • Retweets
  • Likes
  • Follows

The Battle Against Spam and Bots

Twitter has an ongoing battle to cut spam and bots on its site.

“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,” explains Roth.

He says these API changes upholds the site’s promise to reduce malicious activity targeting crucial conversations.

Twitter, along with other social networks, were at the center of investigations for allegedly allowing Russian hackers to sway the electorate during the 2016 US elections on its platform.

What Changed?

We outline the Twitter policy update:

  • Do not (and do not allow your users to) simultaneously post identical or substantially similar content to multiple accounts.
  • Do not (and do not allow your users to) simultaneously perform actions such as Likes, Retweets, or follows from multiple accounts. For example, your service should not permit a user to select several accounts they control to follow a specified account.
  • The use of any form of automation (including scheduling) to post identical or substantially similar content, or to perform actions such as Likes or Retweets, across many accounts that have authorized your app (whether or not you created or directly control those accounts) is not permitted.

Roth says they will exclude posts about weather, emergencies or public service announcements.

If you use an authorized app, you can post public safety announcements from multiple accounts simultaneously.

Twitter urges users to create tweets from one account and retweet them from another account.

Roth says this is better than posting substantially similar content to multiple accounts.

What is Spam?

Twitter Rules and Automation Rules define spam:

  • Posting duplicative or substantially similar content, replies, or mentions over multiple accounts you control, or creating duplicate or substantially similar accounts, with or without the use of automation, is never allowed.
  • Posting multiple updates (on a single account or across multiple accounts you control) to a trending or popular topic (for instance, through the use of a specific hashtag) with an intent to subvert or manipulate the topic, or to artificially inflate the prominence of a hashtag or topic, is never allowed.

Roth says they will enforce the Twitter policy update starting March 23, 2018. And they will suspend noncompliant apps and accounts, if needed.

If you are a social media manager, adapt to these changes before time expires.


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Author: Francis Rey

Francis is a voracious reader and prolific writer. He has been writing about social media and technology for more than 10 years. During off hours, he relishes moments with his wife and daughter.

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