Twitter cracks down on automated tweets

Twitter cracks down on automated tweets
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Twitter is cracking down on its users’ ability to coordinate posting across multiple social media platforms, a move that the company hopes will tamp down on the spread of spam and misinformation.

“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,” the company wrote in a blog post Wednesday.

Twitter issued new guidance on Wednesday advising users not to publish identical or similar posts on different accounts simultaneously. And it’s forbidding similar efforts to simultaneously "like" or retweet posts from across multiple accounts.

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The company also clarified that automating such efforts to artificially inflate the reach of certain tweets breaks Twitter's terms of service.

Twitter had promised to make the changes last month after revealing new details about the alleged Russian campaign to use fake social media accounts to manipulate U.S. voters. It also comes after The New York Times reported on celebrities and media figures buying fake followers to inflate their status on social media.

The platform is carving out exceptions to the new rules for developers that share “weather, emergency, or other public service announcements of broad community interest” across multiple accounts.

Twitter is giving users until March 23 to comply with the changes, and accounts that repeatedly violate the rules could face suspensions.