Twitter Takes Action against ‘Tweetdeckers’


‘Tweetdecking’, a practice whereby teams of users, usually teens, team up to force content to go viral on behalf of a paying customer, has proven to be a highly lucrative endeavour for those orchestrating this manufactured image of popularity. It is however seen by Twitter and many of its users as a highly dishonest act which inherently undermines some of the core principles behind the social network, whilst also exemplifying the widely publicised phenomenon of the ‘social media echo-chamber’. It is also a direct violation of Twitter’s spam policy, which explicitly states that users are not allowed to “sell, purchase, or attempt to artificially inflate account interactions.”

Well it seems that Twitter have finally had enough, and decided to take drastic action against these ‘tweetdeckers’. Counter measures began in force following a BuzzFeed article which documented the practice and brought it firmly into the public eye, at which point Twitter implemented changes which prevented these users from using TweetDeck, a popular sharing app among Tweetdeckers, to retweet from multiple accounts at once. This substantially hindered their ability to easily manufacture virality at the touch of a button, but by no means solved the issue.

On Friday, Twitter unveiled their latest tactic in their quest to eliminate tweetdeckers from their platform, as they suspended several popular accounts known for not only forcing tweets to go viral for a fee, but also stealing content from other people’s tweets, if not the post in its entirety. Many of these accounts were hugely popular, with follower counts ranging from hundreds of thousands all the way up into the millions.

To be honest though, I expect these suspensions to have little if any effect in the long run. The same people will simply create new accounts, rebuild and continue as before. While creating a new account in order to circumvent a ban or suspension is in itself a violation of Twitter’s policies, something tells me these users have little regard for that fact.

A Twitter spokesperson declined to comment on individual accounts when approached by BuzzFeed News.

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