Follow Limit


I have an application that helps people find accounts to follow/unfollow (based on keywords, last activity, engagement). I’ve been having trouble with getting suspended, each time they give us a few small things to change which I’m happy with but then we run into issues again. Most recently we ended up switching to a queue type system and make users wait in between actions and if they fail their account gets locked for a few hours. It works ok except I noticed one thing, my users were getting locked in batches. It seems as if we were going fine up until ONE account hit the 5,000 following threshold and their account locked. Within minutes 75 other accounts were paused as well. Now it’s been almost two hours and none of my users can seem to get a follow to go through. Now I obviously know to check if a user has 5,000 friends before letting their request hit the api but I’m just curious why one bad request made my whole application get locked.

I’m also looking for more tips on things I should adjust or check for to stay compliant with Twitter’s terms. I have only been working with their api for roughly a month and there seems to be some incredibly vague terms of conditions and I keep running into these weird things that I’d love to avoid.


I’m still looking for some help with this. I’ve been doing a better job of disabling functionality when we get an error response from the api which I believe is keeping us from getting temporarily suspended by the automated system however it seems like my users can only use my site for a 5-48 hour window and then we get the 161 “You are unable to follow more people at this time. Learn more” error for follows. After 5-8 hours it unlocks itself. It’s really odd though because it’s like one person hitting the 5,000 following threshold will trigger it. Is it something my users are doing such as following too quickly, following/unfollowing the same account(s), or is the number of users we have collectively that is making us hit some kind of global app usage limit? Any ideas?