Are You Risking Twitter Account Suspension?
Seems the person in charge of Twitter’s suspension button has been a little trigger happy lately. You have all seen the messages of panic flow through the streams just as I have. With all the spammers still busy tweeting away, the Twitter staff must have something that is triggering these suspensions. Makes you wonder what each suspended user was doing that caused the death of their account. Could you be nearing the dreaded suspension? Something you may be doing right now could be digging your Twitter grave. Here I present a few reasons that could be the end your Twitter fun.
1. Are You Spamming People Inadvertently?
Are you spamming people with links? Do you find yourself sending the same link to several people in a row begging them to RT your new post or find? Begging for votes for some contest? Begging to support your cause or charity? I have seen this happen with even high profile users. They simply take the same link and the same sentence and spam it to everyone trying to get their service, blog, or latest charity seen.
No matter what the reason, it’s against Twitter Terms of Service to repeatedly spam users like this and you can be suspended. If you are following the user you send these messages to, they will be less than thrilled to receive one, but if you are not following the user, it often is enough to warrant a quick block of your account.
2. Are You Churning Your Followers?
I knew it was happening before, but until I turned off auto-follow several months ago and now manually view each twitter profile, I did not know how bad it was. I set up my new follow emails to be sent to me by twitter, and I check the folder daily to follow people back. Often I will see two or three emails from the same person. At first I thought it to be a Twitter glitch, but after getting emails from people I was already following on a weekly basis, I realized, I was being churned. Their goal? They want to land on the front page of followers in hopes they will get seen by others. Where they fail? I end up unfollowing these people, and often times blocking them to stop the incessant emails and the extra work load for me.
Churning people by following and unfollowing is against Twitter Terms of Service and will land you a suspended account once the pattern is revealed.
3. Are You Mass Unfollowing?
Following groups of people and then unfollowing them a day later or even a week later when they do not follow you back is against Twitter Terms of Service. Jesse Stay of SocialToo even posted on his blog that Twitter was ending services that unfollow users. Many people recently suspended were actually suspended for this reason. A pattern was picked up by Twitter staff of this behavior, and the accounts were suspended.
I realize why Twitter is doing this, as I see on a daily basis spam accounts created that follow nearly 2000 people, then rapidly drop those people that don’t follow back. When Twitter puts an official stop to this script use, it makes it so much tougher for these spam accounts to grow. I have been ridding my own personal account of these spammy accounts by blocking them. Often they only have a few tweets and thousands of followers. My main purpose in blocking these spam accounts is something I read in an article about how Google ranks tweets. Basically Google considers follows an endorsement, and I definitely am not looking to endorse this behavior, or associate with it.
4. Are You Spamming Users With DMs?
I used to get this same message on nearly a daily basis from several different users. Often I would get it 10 to 15 times a day. I had to block the users one by one to stop the incessant demanding I attend this event. But it’s not just this event, DM spam for quizzes, mafia invites, and other spammy offers used to haunt my Direct Message inbox. I must thank Jesse Stay again for his incredible Spam Filter offered with SocialToo that allows me to block, unfollow or ignore useless DMs such as these automatically by keywords and phrases.
Spamming people with DMs can get you suspended on Twitter, most likely from the large numbers of blocks you will generate from people fed up with the spam.
5. What Does Twitter Consider Spam ?
You may not use the Twitter service for the purpose of spamming anyone. What constitutes “spamming” will evolve as Twitter responds to new tricks and tactics by spammers. Some of the factors that are taken into account when determining what conduct is considered to be spamming are listed below, with entries for those you are probably least aware of in italics.
* If you have followed a large amount of users in a short amount of time;
* If you have followed and unfollowed people in a short time period, particularly by automated means (aggressive follower churn);
* If you repeatedly follow and unfollow people, whether to build followers or to garner more attention for your profile;
* If you have a small number of followers compared to the amount of people you are following;
* If your updates consist mainly of links, and not personal updates;
* If a large number of people are blocking you;
* The number of spam complaints that have been filed against you;
* If you post duplicate content over multiple accounts or multiple duplicate updates on one account;
* If you post multiple unrelated updates to a topic using #;
* If you post multiple unrelated updates to a trending or popular topic;
* If you send large numbers of duplicate @replies;
* If you send large numbers of unsolicited @replies in an attempt to spam a service or link;
* If you add a large number of unrelated users to lists in an attempt to spam a service or link;
* If you repeatedly post other users’ Tweets as your own;
* If you have attempted to “sell” followers, particularly through tactics considered aggressive following or follower churn;
* Using or promoting third-party sites that claim to get you more followers (such as follower trains, sites promising “more followers fast,” or any other site that offers to automatically add followers to your account).
The key here is to always follow the Twitter rules to ensure you don’t get banned from the service you enjoy so much. Don’t accidentally fall into the spam trap. Complete list of Twitter Rules available here.