Twitter suspends thousands of suspected bot accounts, conservative users angry

Alyssa Bailey
February 23, 2018

Twitter purged thousands of bot accounts on its platform, after which several users reported losing thousands of followers.

The platform said keeping Twitter safe and free from spam is a top priority. While the list is substantial, it can be summarised as below. Basically they are saying apps or services may no longer automatically post similar contant on multiple accounts.

The most hit with the new strategy could be new media publishers and celebrity, commonly social media influencers, as they tweet with similar message across various accounts. Alerts can be cross-posted from other services (such as RSS readers), but only to a single account.

Furthermore, Twitter has made changes to TweetDeck's multiple account functionality. The company says that the changes will be effective immediately on Twitter and TweetDeck, while third-party applications will have time till March 23, 2018, to make changes to comply with the new rules. Bulk, aggressive or any sort of high-volume automated retweeting is now banned, along with access to multiple accounts to perform similar automated actions like following people. These accounts posted 175,993 tweets during the 2016 US Presidential election campaign, 8.4% of which were related to the election itself.

And as part of the new policies, Twitter is disabling features in TweetDeck that allowed users to automatically perform actions across multiple accounts.

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Neither is posting multiple updates (from any number of accounts) to a trending topic "with an intent to subvert or manipulate the topic, or to artificially inflate the prominence of a hashtag or topic".

"Every day we proactively look for suspicious account behaviours that indicate inorganic or automated activity, violations of our policies around having multiple accounts, or abuse". This should only be done from a small number of distinct accounts that you directly control.

The move was the latest by Twitter to enforce rules aimed at curbing disinformation, propaganda and provocation.

When an account is locked or a phone number is unconfirmed, it isn't included in follower counts until it provides a phone number, Twitter noted.

Since Twitter has not revealed the number of accounts it has purged, it is hard to estimate how many of such accounts were suspended. Visit for more information on this news.

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