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Twitter reduces number of accounts one can follow in a day to slow spammers

Twitter also confirms that the move alone will not stop spammers on the platform but will instead limit their activity.

  • Published: April 9, 2019 3:31 PM IST
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Twitter is making a big change to its platform in an effort to stop spammers from taking over the micro-blogging service. Twitter has announced that it will limit the number of users that you can follow on a single day to 400. Previously that number was capped at 1,000 and Twitter announced the changes in a tweet from its Safety account. The move will supposedly prevent spammers from adding a large number of followers to their account and then deleting them in a “bulk, aggressive or indiscriminate manner” violating the rules of Twitter.

Spammers then to add a lot of followers to their accounts on a single day with a hypothesis that majority of those will follow them back. Those who do follow these accounts back will then find their feed filled with a number of spam posts. However, those who don’t will soon be unfollowed by these spammers. This is an endless cycle that continues over and over again with little control from Twitter. In order to put an end to this spamming, Twitter has reduced the number of accounts followed in a day down to 400 from existing 1,000.

In a series of tweets, Yoel Roth from Twitter explained that lowering the number of followers a day from 1,000 to 400 won’t necessarily stop the spammers but it is meant to slow them down. He added that rate limits will make each spam account “less effective, slower and more expensive to operate”. He also added that 400 serves as a reasonable limit for people to follow the accounts they are interested in while limiting spammers at the same time.

While it does sound like a big change for Twitter users, Roth also adds that 99.87 percent of users will be totally unaffected by this lower rate limit imposed by the platform. “Most people don’t need or want to follow that many accounts,” Roth said in a tweet. The move will come as a deterrent for those accounts which act as spammers but it will curtail operations of those providing customer service or need to reach out to users via DM, which is not possible without following users.

  • Published Date: April 9, 2019 3:31 PM IST