Twitter Updates Security Policy to Combat Spam Tweets and ‘Copypasta’

Twitter has updated security policies to cut down on duplicative tweets, often referred to as “copypasta.” The social media platform Tuesday shared details on limiting the visibility of copypasta posts “to help people find credible and authentic information, and to promote a healthy public discourse” 

According to a May 10 statement from the Twitter Help Desk, such copycat tweets can look like “a block of text, image or a combination of content.” 

They can be “repetitive, spammy, and disruptive to people’s experience on Twitter,” the company said, adding that they can be used to artificially amplify content, suppress information or manipulate trending topics and top search results.

Twitter started cracking down on spammy tweets in August 2020. This week, Twitter explained that if a tweet is determined to be duplicative, it may be downranked, made ineligible for amplification in Top Search results and Trends, and not recommended in other users’ timelines.

Duplicative tweets will still remain visible to people who follow the original user.  

Examples of copypasta include identical or near-identical content tweeted by a single or multiple accounts, or copy-and-pasted tweets that use the same hashtags or tag numerous users “in concert with other accounts,” according to the notification.

Tweets of existing tweets or copy-and-pasting of content combined with unique commentary aren’t considered copypasta, Twitter said.

An individual duplicative tweet wouldn’t result in suspension or expulsion from Twitter, the company said. But using bots to post duplicative content, operating accounts that do nothing but spew copypasta and repetitive copypasta tweets, especially of content that violates other Twitter policies, could result in deplatforming. 

Users can report potential violations by clicking on the “report tweet” button and labeling the post as “suspicious or spam,” providing additional details on how the tweet is spreading spam.

Those who think they’ve been wrongly penalized can report the situation to Twitter for an appeal.

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