At its heart, Twitter is a platform that allows people to have conversations. It gives them a way to be updated about the accounts they are interested in real-time. When brands engage in spam, they decrease the overall productivity of the platform. A few years ago Facebook took the initiative to deal with the menace of clickbait posts. In a similar spirit, Twitter has announced its decision to ban spam on the social media platform.
“Keeping Twitter safe and free from span is a top priority for us.” – Yoel Roth, API Policy and Product Trust at Twitter
One of the most common span violations according to Twitter is the use of multiple accounts. It has, therefore, come out with rules to address the problem. Following are the changes that have been announced by Twitter with respect to spam and automation services:
1. Posting Identical or Similar Content to Multiple Accounts
Twitter has asked its users not to simultaneously post identical or similar content to multiple accounts. “Your service should not permit a user to select several accounts they control from which to publish a given Tweet.” This is applicable to both tweets published at the same time and tweets queued or scheduled for publication. Twitter does provide a solution to the problem it just created. You are allowed to retweet content from an account from your other accounts. However, Twitter points out that this should only be done for limited, self-controlled accounts.
Twitter has made it a point to remind its users that according to its Automation rules, “bulk, aggressive, or very high-volume automated Retweeting is not permitted.” Twitter maintains its right to take action against users who indulge in such activities.
2. Performing Actions (Likes, Retweets, Follows) from Multiple Accounts
Just like the aforementioned point, Twitter has also asked its users not to Like, Retweet or Follow from multiple accounts. “Your service should not permit a user to select several accounts they control to follow a specified account.” Twitter encourages increasing both reach and engagement through organic means. Amongst other things, they do not allow replication of another user’s follows, automated follow-back monitoring, and bulk following.
When misused or used at high volume, automated replies and mentions bring out their spam-like aspects. Twitter discourages the misuse of this technology and asks users to contact only those users who have very clearly given their consent to be contacted by you.
3. Automation for Trend Manipulation is Prohibited
Twitter recognises that automation makes the work of a lot of its users easy, specifically social media managers. However, keeping into account the rest of its users, Twitter has prohibited the use of any kind of automation that will post identical or similar content to multiple accounts. This is done by brands and businesses to increase their Likes, Retweets in order to inorganically make the topic trend.
The folks at Twitter will continue to allow users to cross-post outside information like weather alerts or RSS feed through automation. They have, however, asked their users to limit such tweets to a single account. However, applications that broadcast weather, emergency and other public service announcements will be allowed to tweet across several accounts.
4. TweetDeck Changes
Twitter also announced changes to the multiple account functionality of TweetDeck. Its users will not be allowed anymore to select multiple accounts through which they can Tweet, Retweet, Like or Follow.
The new rules that have been implemented by Twitter will, in the long run, be beneficial to the entire Twitterverse. These steps, when properly enforced, will make a level playing field for everyone on Twitter. Less spam being circulated in the ecosystem will make space for more quality content to be seen. Now that no one will focus on participating in the spam wars, everyone can focus on creating quality content for their audience.