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Twitter targets accounts behind artificially viral tweets

By Sheetal Sukhija, Ohio State News
12 Mar 2018, 11:31 GMT+10

CALIFORNIA, U.S. - Weeks after Twitter finally dealt with the problems of spam bots and rolled out new rules that prohibit bulk tweeting, it has now launched a purge on accounts behind artificially viral tweets.

Twitter said it was cleaning up the network, in its push for more genuine interaction and had suspended a horde of accounts that are notorious for mass-retweeting each other's posts.

So far, the network has not made any specific comment on individual suspensions or whether these suspensions are permanent. 

However, a report in Engadget pointed out that the accounts had been suspended for violating spam policies that forbid mass duplication and impersonation. 

Further, it said that even if the accounts are restored, the users would not be able to resume their behaviour without facing a tougher penalty.

Reports also noted that the accounts that have been targeted in Twitter’s latest crackdown have millions of followers and so the suspension of the accounts is likely to have an impact. 

Further, many said that the crackdown might not really have been a coincidence since Twitter is under pressure to eliminate coordinated spamming of all kinds and not just for political reasons. 

Meanwhile, the microblogging site is also struggling to add users despite turning its first profit. 

Last month, the company - which faced a lot of heat after it was revealed that thousands of Russian troll accounts used the platform to influence the 2016 Presidential elections - announced a set of changes and new developer guidelines.

Twitter’s new guidelines were meant to fight off automated actions and to make it harder for “tweetdeckers” to flood the social network.

Tweetdecking involves users tweeting out content across multiple popular accounts added to their Tweetdeck in exchange for payment. 

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