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Twitter Cracks Down on Automated ‘Bot’ Accounts

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Twitter Cracks Down on Automated Bot Accounts

San Francisco

Twitter announced on Wednesday a crackdown on Automated bots (software) accounts which personify a human or cause but are in effect automated accounts accused of manipulating the social network during the 2016 US election.

The San Francisco messaging platform said the initiative was aimed to get rid of the service of spam spewing automated accounts and not on people using the social networking site according to the Terms of Service.

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, Twitter developer policy lead Yoel Roth said in a blog post.

This is the latest step taken by Twitter to enforce rules aimed at curbing disinformation, propaganda and provocation. Since the 2016 election, Twitter and others discovered how bots had been used to sow political divisions and spread hoaxes.

“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,” Roth wrote.

To be clear: Twitter prohibits any attempt to use automation for the purposes of posting or disseminating spam, and such behaviour may result in enforcement action.”

Posting duplicative content, replies or mentions from an array of accounts one controls, by hand or by bot, is forbidden, according to Twitter.

“Bulk, aggressive, or very high-volume automated retweeting” is also banned, along with using multiple accounts to perform automated actions at the service such as following people, Roth said.

A sole exception to the rule was applications designed to broadcast weather, emergency or other public service type announcements, according to Twitter.

Developers were given until March 23 to bring applications into compliance with the tightened rules or risk suspension.

Keeping Twitter safe and free from spam is a top priority for us, a Twitter spokesperson said.

Today’s update to TweetDeck and our developer platform is an important change to ensure we stay ahead of malicious activity targeting conversations on Twitter.

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