Twitter announces crackdown on automation and use of multiple accounts

It will see changes for users of the Tweetdeck application

Twitter announces crackdown on automation and use of multiple accounts

The Twitter application is seen on a smartphone in this photo illustration | Image: Jaap Arriens/SIPA USA/PA Images

Social media site Twitter has announced new rules to prevent users from posting identical content to multiple accounts.

The changes will mean users of Tweetdeck will no longer be able to select multiple accounts through which to tweet, retweet like or follow.

Tweetdeck is a social media dashboard that allows people to manage several Twitter accounts.

Originally an independent app, it was acquired by Twitter in 2011.

In a blog post, the website says: "Keeping Twitter safe and free from spam is a top priority for us.

"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."

It says that the use of any form of automation, including scheduling, to post identical or substantially similar content across many accounts is not permitted.

For example, applications that coordinate activity across multiple accounts to simultaneously post tweets with a specific hashtag (eg in an attempt to cause that topic to trend) are not allowed.

It adds that users should only post this content to one account they control.

However a sole exception to this rule are applications that broadcast or share weather, emergency, or other public service announcements of broad community interest - for example, earthquake or tsunami alerts.

Twitter adds: "Users of Tweetdeck will no longer be able to select multiple accounts through which to perform an action such as tweeting, retweeting, liking, or following.

"If your app or service includes features which allow users to perform simultaneous actions across multiple accounts, you should make changes to bring it into compliance with this policy by March 23, 2018."

It says failure to comply with these rules could result in "enforcement action, up to and including the suspension of associated applications and accounts."