It is no longer news that Twitter has been doing some house cleaning with more than 70 million accounts getting suspended in what most people now call the “Twitter Purge”.
The platform had earlier announced in July 2018 that they were going to suspend accounts. This move has affected many people including influencers, businesses, celebrities, and individuals who either got suspended or lost a huge amount of followers.
And while some got hit with a massive reduction in their following due to deletion of “bot” accounts, others got their accounts suspended for various reasons.
So Why Were Accounts Suspended?
- Tweet decking which is the simultaneous mass tweeting of the same tweets from multiple bot accounts.
- Stealing jokes (Examples of accounts suspended for this include: Dory, Common White Girl, MemeProvider, Teenagernotes etc).
- Tweeting “spammy”, suspicious and malicious links.
- Accounts with unverified contact details – email and or phone number.
- Getting muted and blocked by a lot of users.
- Repeatedly tweeting uncredited and unauthorized video and content.
- Bot activity – that is, tweeting a lot of unsolicited replies and mentions.
- Accounts that have been reported multiple times by other users.
- Accounts that use images of celebrities as their profile pictures.
- Using harmful or triggering language, swear words and words that incite violence and discrimination against race, sexuality etc. Examples of trigger words include words that connote self-harm such as “kill myself, cut myself, hang myself, suicide, punch and I wanna die.” Even simple everyday phrases like “ugh kill me” and the common “stan twitter” phrases are getting accounts suspended. This goes back even to old tweets.
- Accounts with contemptuous gender-biased views, particularly those bordering around misogyny, misandry and anti-feminism
- Accounts with tweets targeted against the LGBT community.
What This Means For:
A look at the rules makes it clear that Social Media Influencers now have their work cut out for them and will have to prove their authenticity through genuine followers and wholesome content. It means that as an influencer, while you seek to be expressive in your originality, a level of professionalism is now expected if you would be taken seriously.
As a business, Twitter’s purge may mean several things for you:
- Careful, Strategic Influencer Marketing: 73% of marketers say that they have allocated budget for influencer marketing and that’s a great way to generate leads but you should carefully pick influencers who have a genuine following and speak to your target audience. Especially since it’s becoming more obvious the number of followers isn’t a key for judging true influence.
- Avoid Bots: While you cannot stop bot accounts from following you, you can root out fake accounts by manually looking through your followers and blocking them if you think it’s necessary. Obviously, this means goodbye to “buying” followers and likes, as Twitter is aggressive about spam accounts and malicious automation.
However, the main lesson here is that just numbers won’t really cut it anymore in the online environment. Authentic engagements and following will get you more valuable leads and conversions for your business.
Twitter is basically teaching us all to be better people with more wholesome content and taking our eyes off the “vanity metrics” that don’t translate to true social engagements.
While many commend Twitter’s efforts, others have complained about their “strict” policies. What are your thoughts on this?