Twitter Limits Per Day Following Count to Counter Spammers
By Space Coast Daily // April 22, 2019
Twitter recently rolled out a new rule to reduce the number of accounts that users can follow in a single day from 1,000 to 400. It is a startling reduction, but an average user will be unphased by this action. This is aimed at spammers who tend to follow and unfollow users to increase their number of followers.
But why is 400 the magic number and not 150 or 220 or even 66? Twitter experts did a lot of permutation and combination and finally arrived at 400 which they believe is a reasonable limit that allows the users to follow their favorite accounts while also stopping the most number of spammers.
The decision to reduce the daily follower count had immediate results. Twitter’s statistical team put out a report where they mentioned that over 50% of the users who made over 400 follows every day started reducing from the day of this decision.
Approximately 20 million follows were reduced by this method each day, and this increased the high number of blocks and spam reports. This was a clear indication that there was a dip in the number of inorganic followers.
According to the Twitterati’s, the best possible way to get real Twitter followers is not by spamming; it is either through reputation building or buying followers from reliable sources.
Twitter’s tried and tested policy
To crack down “bulk tweeting,” Twitter restricted users to Tweet the same content or news from multiple accounts. They are always on the lookout to stop abuse and spam on Twitter. This was their first real step to counter spamming, and it worked wonders in a few days.
It was last November that Twitter came up with the idea to stop spammers from following and unfollowing a vast number of users per day. They believed that the users had unlimited freedom to create spam accounts.
To filter these users, they allowed users to report suspicious and fake accounts to increase online spamming activities.
Users cannot only report fake profiles but also flag tweets that they think originate from the doubtful accounts. The accumulation of millions of tweets and suspicious users helped Twitter to come up with the idea of limiting the number of follower count per day from 1,000 to 400.
Spammers often added thousands of followers with the hope that a majority of those followers will follow them back. Those who followed back found their news feed filled with spam posts from these followers.
But those who didn’t follow were unfollowed by the spammers. This endless game of following and unfollowing became a trend until a massive number of fake posts and profiles were reported.
Yoel Roth from Twitter believes that reducing the per day follower count may not necessarily stop spamming completely, but it will inevitably slow the spammers down.
Each of the spam accounts will become less active, but more expensive to operate. He also stated that a significant portion of the Twitter users, as much as 99.87% of them would be unaffected by this change.
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