Twitter Suspends Accounts – Cites “TweetDecking”

By Alexandra Truszkowska

Photo by Alexandra Truszkowska.

Photo by Alexandra Truszkowska.

If your twitter feeds seemed a bit lacking with memes since this past weekend – Twitter’s updated security policies are to blame. The corporation temporarily suspended a number of accounts including @dory, @girlposts, and @ginah,. Some of these accounts had hundreds of thousands or even millions of followers — all who violated the company’s new “spam policies” and thus, the accounts have been suspended.

These tweets, most of which are labeled as funny and relatable, were being stolen by these big accounts from smaller, lesser known accounts, reproduced, and all that interaction (of their followers liking, commenting, and retweeting) of media leads to a monetary dispense to third-party accounts. Twitter’s updated terms and conditions tell users not to “sell, purchase or attempt to artificially inflate account interactions”

Earlier, in February, Yoel Roth, of API policy and product trust at Twitter, first announced that changes would be made to how the website works with “Tweetdeck”.

He wrote, “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.”

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.“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 is not permitted.”

Although the new rules came after more sinister reasoning of  over 50,000 accounts also known as bots, possibly in conclusion with the recent presidential election that connects Russia to the President of the United States exposed nearly 700,000 people to propaganda over the course of the 2016 US Presidential Election in January. A Twitter spokesperson stated that the new rules that the company rolled out in a broader effort to combat spam, which state that violators run the risk of having their accounts being temporarily or permanently suspended.

CEO Jack Dorsey, also known as @jack, tweeted earlier that “We’re committing Twitter to help increase the collective health, openness, and civility of public conversation, and to hold ourselves publicly accountable towards progress…” and that Twitter has “real-world negative consequences.”

“We have witnessed abuse, harassment, troll armies, manipulation through bots and human-coordination, misinformation campaigns and increasingly divisive echo chambers,” he said. “We aren’t proud of how people have taken advantage of our service, or our inability to address it fast enough.”