Twitter Tackles Spam... Sort Of

According to CNN, to fight spam, Twitter (TWTR) is dramatically reducing the number of accounts users can follow each day (details below). You will now only be able to follow 400 accounts per day vs the previous limit of 1,000 per day. "I spent all day on Twitter and followed 975 people I really think will enhance my understanding of the world," said no one, ever.

I have roughly 45,700 followers and I follow about 645 (give or take a few). What rational need (other than spam or fake account building) could anyone have for following more than 50 accounts per day? (And even that should be limited to no more than 10 per hour.) No actual human could or would have an issue with that. Add some friction. It is way too easy to build a gigantic bot army on Twitter.

For example, using Headless Chrome and a little open source software, I could create 20,000 Twitter accounts this morning and be limited to following only 8 million accounts per day vs 20 million before the new policy. A very large percentage of those accounts would automatically follow my fake (bot) accounts back. By EOD, I would have at least a few hundred thousand followers (if not a few million) across all the fake accounts. So now, under Twitter's new policy, it will take 5x as long to build a bot army. Honestly, that’s not a heavy lift for the bad guys.

As always, your thoughts and comments are both welcome and strongly encouraged.

More on this from CNN below...

Twitter goes after spam with an obvious fix

By Jordan Valinsky, CNN Business
Updated 1226 GMT (2026 HKT) April 9, 2019

New York (CNN Business)To fight spam, Twitter is dramatically reducing the number of accounts users can follow each day.

The social network announced Monday that people can now only follow 400 accounts per day, down from the previous limit of 1,000. Twitter (TWTR) said that the change was made to cut down on spammers.

"Don't worry, you'll be just fine," Twitter told users in a tweet.

Yoel Roth, Twitter's head of site integrity, explained in several tweets that the number 400 was picked because it's a "reasonable limit that allows people to follow the accounts they're interested in each day while stopping the most spam."

Twitter prohibits churning, the act of following and unfollowing the same account so a user can grow the number of his or her followers.

"We found that nearly half of all accounts who made more than 400 follows per day were churning," Roth tweeted. "That amounted to more than 20 million follows each day, and a high rate of blocks and spam reports — a clear signal that inorganic follows are super annoying."

Continue reading on CNN.

Shelly Palmer is Fox 5 New York's On-air Tech Expert (WNYW-TV) and the host of Fox Television's monthly show Shelly Palmer Digital Living. He also hosts United Stations Radio Network's, ...

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Black Widow 10 months ago Member's comment

Who needs to follow 400 new Twitter accounts EVERY DAY? I swear #Twitter encourages fake accounts since it inflates their user numbers. Bearish on $TWTR

Barry Glassman 10 months ago Member's comment

Lol. yes. And let's real users think people are actually following them and listening to what they have to say!