Substantial changes have been made by Twitter on February 21 that will greatly impact social media managers who oversee multiple accounts and use automation apps to manage their Twitter activity.

Twitter announced that it isn’t going to permit identical or substantially similar content to be posted simultaneously from multiple accounts.

Something else that has been eliminated is the ability for a user to simultaneously “Like” or “Retweet” a post or “Follow” an account from multiple accounts.  Basically, users of automation platforms such as TweetDeck can’t select multiple accounts to automate posts, tweets, retweets, likes or follows.

The reasoning behind this change is Twitter fighting to reduce the amount of spam and bot activity currently taking place on the site.

“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,” writes Yoel Roth on the Twitter blog.

According to Yoel, these are “important steps” in making sure that the site is doing what it can to reduce the amount of malicious activity targeting conversations taking place on Twitter and specifically calls out the US elections.

Here are the three specific policy updates Twitter has outlined around automation and the use of multiple accounts on its site:

  • Do not (and do not allow your users to) simultaneously post identical or substantially similar content to multiple accounts.
  • Do not (and do not allow your users to) simultaneously perform actions such as Likes, Retweets, or follows from multiple accounts. For example, your service should not permit a user to select several accounts they control to follow a specified account.
  • 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 (whether or not you created or directly control those accounts) is not permitted.

Twitter says that an exception to this new rule involves accounts posting weather, emergency of public service announcements.  Authorized apps will be permitted to post public safety announcements simultaneously from multiple accounts.

The company recommends that you crate a tweet from one account and then retweet the content form another account.  Any app or service that allows Twitter users to perform simultaneous actions from multiple accounts have to be in compliance with this new policy by March 23, 2018.  If these apps or services don’t comply by the given date, it my result in an enforcement action, with the possibility of suspension for the applications and accounts that break the rules.

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