Twitter shares news: Twitter to clamp down on mass tweet ‘bot’ tactics

on Feb 22, 2018

Twitter shares ended higher in the US Wednesday, as the social media site announced it would no longer allow mass simultaneous automation of the same, or similar tweets. The move is designed to limit the spread of ‘fake news’ with the same tweets being sent by users of multiple accounts.

Twitter shares closed 1.64% higher at $33.38, in the US Wednesday. That continues the generally positive tone of the Twitter stock for most of 2018 to-date.

Twitter announces crackdown

Twitter had mentioned earlier in the year that it was making changes to Twitter and TweetDeck, that would limit users’ ability to publish the same Tweet across multiple accounts at the same time. Those policy changes are now active.

“Twitter prohibits any attempt to use automation for the purposes of posting or disseminating spam, and such behaviour may result in enforcement action,” said Twitter’s head of API policy and product trust, Yoel Roth in a blog post.

“These changes are an important step in ensuring we stay ahead of malicious activity targeting the crucial conversations taking place on Twitter — including elections in the United States and around the world,” Roth added.

Multiple, simultaneous retweets also prohibited

The blog post detailed numerous ways in which users have previously been able to spread spam and ‘fake news’ as now being against Twitter’s user policy. While it recommends retweeting to help share news, the blog said that simultaneous, automated retweeting was also, not permitted.

“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,” Roth said.

These actions have been identified as tactics used by malicious users to help promote spam and fake news ahead of key elections across multiple social media platforms. Twitter’s move comes as other platforms work to limit abuse of their social media sites.