Twitter cracks down on bots with policy changes and mass purge

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In a blog post published Wednesday, Twitter's trust and safety manager Yoel Roth said the company has made changes to Twitter and TweetDeck to limit coordinated posts across multiple accounts.

Twitter Inc. defended it's attempts to purge malicious "bot" accounts after conservative users of the service said they were unfairly targeted.

"Today's update to TweetDeck and our developer platform is an important change to ensure we stay ahead of malicious activity targeting conversations on Twitter". Applications and accounts that fail to comply with the new rules post this deadline will be liable for suspension.

In response to the criticism, Twitter has taken some steps to improve its service, weeding out more than 50,000 accounts that it identified as being linked to Russian Federation and its operatives, and notifying almost 700,000 users who interacted with these accounts.

Do not simultaneously post identical or substantially similar content to 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.

Twitter is cracking down on bots after it announced changes to its API that will massively reduce the impact of services that allow links and content to be shared across multiple accounts, i.e. the software that powers Twitter bots.

Do not (and do not allow your users to) simultaneously perform actions such as Likes, Retweets, or follows from multiple accounts.

Twitter's crackdown on fake accounts isn't sitting well with a lot of users, mostly right-wing users.

An indictment issued this week by USA special counsel Robert Mueller, investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, named the Internet Research Agency, described as a bot and disinformation operation which sought to sow divisions in American society using social media. On the other hand, some people who complained about losing followers say they've gotten them back, presumably as real users verified their phone numbers after being flagged.

The firm has also generated instructions for users holding multiple accounts and using automation.

As the bot accounts were purged, the hashtag #TwitterLockOut started trending in America.

The steps are part of Twitter's ongoing battle to reduce the amount of spam and bot activity now taking place on the site. Sanduja says he estimates thousands of new members had come on board, including more mainstream conservatives than the fringe crowd that has gravitated to Gab in the past.

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