Twitter Announces New Feature to Cut Spam

Twitter has announced new measures to reduce spam on the platform.

From today (April 10), users on the social network will only be able to follow up to 400 accounts per day, down from the previous 1,000 per day limit.

Twitter said that the change was to cut down on spammers and bad actors, who manipulated Twitter by following thousands of accounts to increase their own follower count.

Twitter’s head of integrity, Yoel Roth, explained the move in more detail on Twitter, including that a 400-per-day limit was “reasonable” and that it “allows people to follow the accounts they’re interested in each day while stopping the most spam.”

“We found that nearly half of all accounts who made more than 400 follows per day were churning,” Roth said on Twitter. “That amounted to more than 20 million follows each day, and a high rate of blocks and spam reports — a clear signal that inorganic follows are super annoying.”

“Every choice we make about our rules, limits, and spam-fighting systems has to work for hundreds of millions of people around the world, many of whom use Twitter in very different ways,” Roth added.

“More Certain types of inorganic follow behavior, like follow churning (repeatedly following and unfollowing the same account in the hopes of growing your followers), are prohibited in the Twitter Rules. So we looked for thresholds of follows per day from the accounts that did this.”

“More 99.87% of Twitter users are totally unaffected by this lower rate limit. Most people don’t need or want to follow that many accounts. But some legitimate accounts, like businesses providing customer service by DM, actually do need it, and we want to avoid burdening them.”

“More Improving the health of Twitter is our top priority, and teams across the company are always working to refine these limits based on what we learn about spammer behavior and as malicious tactics evolve.”

Twitter has made several attempts in recent years to reduce spam and churn on the platform, and last year limited the ability to post the same content on multiple Twitter accounts at the same time.

It said the move was to stop people from spreading fake news in bulk on the platform, a move that also introduced limits to the like and retweet functionalities on the network.

Twitter has also made changes to the way content is displayed, and those who are flagged to be posting fake news, inappropriate content or spam will be less likely to show up in search results and on users’ timelines, something the network calls ‘behavioral signs’.

What do you think of the news? Is Twitter doing enough to prevent spammers? Let us know on Twitter using @AppleMagazine, and check back soon for more social media news.

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Everything Apple, every day. This post was written by an AppleMagazine newsroom writer.