After vowing to crack down on bots and spammers, Twitter has suspended several high-profile accounts for attempting to game the system by using mass-retweets and stolen content to gain popularity.
Some of the suspended accounts, including @dory and @memeprovider, had millions of followers. It's unknown whether the suspensions are permanent.
According to Buzzfeed (opens in new tab), some of these account holders are known as 'Tweetdeckers' for their use of teaming up with other users to retweet each other's content en masse via Tweetdeck (opens in new tab) – Twitter's own dashboard web app.
The rules for app developers are due to come into force on March 23, but it seems the site has got a head-start on accounts that have gained hundreds of thousands of followers through less than honest means.
“To be clear: Twitter prohibits any attempt to use automation for the purpose of posting or disseminating spam, and such behaviour may result in enforcement action,” said Yoel Roth (opens in new tab), Twitter's head of API policy and product trust.
To comply with its own rules, Twitter updated Tweetdeck to remove the ability to retweet or like messages through several accounts simultaneously.
Twitter's CEO Jack Dorsey recently admitted the site has serious problems with "abuse, harassment, troll armies, manipulation through bots and human coordination, misinformation campaigns, and increasingly divisive echo chambers," and asked for help (opens in new tab) assessing the 'health' of the platform.
These recent suspensions are the first sign of the site taking direct action against users manipulating the site, though Dorsey's plan to measure the quality of conversations on the site means it might be several months before we see more widespread changes.
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