To whom it may concern,
My application was recently suspended and I suppose that it occurred because of an automated follow/un-follow behaviour that might have been detected. First of all, I would like to make clear that we do NOT encourage or promote aggressive following nor aggressive follow churn. What is more, if you (Twitter staff) take your time and read the welcome page of the application help, you will see we that clearly inform our clients not to do that:
IMPORTANT NOTE: We do not support spam. We have NOT created this application to indiscriminately follow people. We highly recommend that you use CJ AutoTweeter to wisely find and select people that you are really interested in to subsequently follow them. The automation features are specifically and only designed so as not to turn Send/Find/Follow/Un-follow activities into time-consuming tasks. Time intervals have been introduced in order to avoid the risk of wrongly being considered as spammer even when you have properly selected to whom follow to.
That said, I would also like to highlight that our application was exclusively developed to automate users experience with Twitter so that they do not have to access their accounts constantly. Now that our position has clearly been presented, it is very important to bring attention to Twitter’s rules, which, in my modest opinion, contain gaps bigger than black holes.
GAP 1 (Taken from Following rules and best practices guidelines: https://support.twitter.com/articles/68916-following-rules-and-best-practices):
“Please note that Twitter does not permit any automated or bulk following or un-following behaviour.”
Well, although bulk behaviour is comprehensibly not allowed, I do not clearly see why automated behaviour is not permitted. For instance, a user could decide to follow a group of 30 or 40 companies that exclusively were selected after conducting research and determining a mutual interest or benefit. In my opinion, this is not indiscriminate behaviour to garner attention, so, it would be ridiculous to expect the user to follow these companies in a one-by-one mode by punctually clicking “follow” from their account. In this case, an automated process is required and that is the intention of our application. If Twitter does not even allow this sort of automated behaviour, all follow/un-follow methods should be removed to make rules and developers’ lives easier. If follow/un-follow methods cannot be used in any circumstance like the one described, there is no point to include them in the API.
GAP 2 (Taken from Following rules and best practices guidelines: https://support.twitter.com/articles/68916-following-rules-and-best-practices):
“Aggressive following is defined as indiscriminately following hundreds of accounts just to garner attention. However, following a few users if their accounts seem interesting is normal and is not considered aggressive.”
It would be interesting to find out “HOW MANY” a “FEW users” are. If Twitter does not make this point clear, rules will be unintentionally violated. Are “a few” 100, 50, 75, HOW MANY?
GAP 3 (taken from the basics of Twitter limits: https://support.twitter.com/articles/15364-about-twitter-limits-update-api-dm-and-following#):
“The technical follow limit is 1,000 per day”.
Here, we clearly see contradictions to statements in GAPS 1 & 2.
Contradiction to GAP 1: If Twitter allows a follow limit of 1,000 per day, but does not allow automated following, how is it expected to follow 1,000 users a day? ARE USERS EXPECTED TO “MANUALLY” PERFORM A FOLLOW OPERATION EVERY 1.44 SECONDS? THIS IS RIDICULOUS.
Contradiction to GAP 2: A follow limit of 1,000 per day is not “following a few users”.
To me, it looks like Twitter is under URGENT need of Process Engineers, or if they are already employed, their analytical skills leave extremely much to be desired.
If aggressive following impacts so badly on the interaction between legitimate users and Twitter, why does Twitter not directly punish or suspend the accounts of those users who cause this behaviour instead of suspending applications that are NOT meant to be used for these purposes? Or apart from the “Following daily limit” of 1,000, why does Twitter not also establish limits that prevent aggressive following behaviour? I do not think that the automated following of 30, 40, 100, or even a 1000 (which is the allowed limit top and then valid) of users previously selected is aggressive. If Twitter does, it would be better to remove POST methods like friendships/create and friendships/destroy. On the contrary, if Twitter considers that 1,000 is a reasonable follow limit, applications to do this automatically should also reasonably be allowed. If such applications are not allowed under any circumstances, a limit of 1,000 is brainless as such a number of new people cannot be followed manually.
So Twitter, this is up to you: Do you want to considerably reduce the follow limit in order for users to manually perform follow/un-follow operations, or Would you prefer to allow the use of tools that automate the tedious process of following 1,000 users?
And now, last but not least, How do I get my token re-enabled? Does it imply to use new consumer keys? It is clear that in order to follow 1,000 new users a day an automated tool is required, but if automated tools are then banned, How can I prevent these sorts of events in the future? Should I remove automation features? If I have to, shouldn’t Twitter also totally remove methods like friendships/create and friendships/destroy or considerably decrease the follow/un-follow limit?