Is following a set list of users in violation of ToS?


#1

Hi all,

I’d like some clarification on the ToS. I apologize if I haven’t been looking in the right place; I’m new to development with the Twitter API.

I have an idea for an app that takes users who are in A list in a text file, and seeks to allow others to follow them to amplify their voices.

This list of users is contained in a GitHub public repo, and is finite (60 and growing but slowly at last count).

Since this idea would involve following multiple users, but not an infinite amount, and not as part of a “follow back” culture, I was wondering if such a concept would be in violation of the ToS.

If it is, then would adding these users to a twitter list and keeping those lists synchronized be allowable under the ToS?

Thanks in advance for any clarifications you may have.


#2

Hi @sjkilleen,

Thanks for writing in! I’m not able to give you a definitive answer whether the app is policy compliant without seeing it; but the description above doesn’t raise any immediate red flags. You will want to be sure that there isn’t an automation, or “follow-all” component to the app in accordance with Twitter’s Automation rules (https://support.twitter.com/articles/76915-automation-rules-and-best-practices).

You may not use or develop any service that allows for the following or unfollowing of user accounts in a bulk or automated manner. Accounts and applications that engage in this practice will be suspended. Please review our Follow Rules and Best Practices (https://support.twitter.com/articles/68916-following-rules-and-best-practices) for a detailed discussion of following recommendations

If you’d like to discuss this in more detail, please reach out to our Platform Operations team via this form (https://support.twitter.com/forms/platform) and the ‘I have an API policy question not covered by these points’ radio button. Feel free to reference this post in your case and I will assist you personally.

Hope this helps,
Aaron


#3

Hi Aaron,

The app is just an idea, so unfortunately nothing to show now.

There would technically be a “follow all” aspect, but it would allow users to follow all of the accounts on a finite list. Not “follow all my followers”, or “follow everyone on twitter” or anything like that, but “follow everyone listed in this file”.

So for example, say I have a text file with a list of 50 twitter usernames. Occasionally, this list grows by a few. This app would allow allow people to follow that list of users. So, when they first joined, they would “follow” 50 users. After this point, should the file be updated to include 53 users, the users of this app would all follow those three additional users as well.

Does this help find a definitive answer, or would you still recommend contacting the platform team at the link you mentioned?

Thanks again for your response.


#4

Unfortunately, there cannot be a bulk/automated aspect to the follow action. A way to still achieve this goal and adhere to the Developer Policy & Agreement would be to provide means to follow each user individually – and as the list grows suggest manual follows of new the users.


#5

HI Aaron,

Thanks for the clarification.

This wouldn’t be an issue if I was to say, create a list for each user of my app, and synchronize their list with my main list, correct? This would allow users to view the list at their leisure, and also to follow anyone they’d like from that list.