Microblogging website Twitter has made a big change in its platform to put an end to spam. For this, Twitter has announced that it is limiting the number of profiles/users one user can follow in a day. Earlier, the number of accounts one could follow was 1,000 but now Twitter has reduced the number to just 400. Twitter announced the decision about the reduced follow limit through its Safety account. And according to Twitter, it has taken this decision to stop the spammers from adding a large number of followers to their own account and then deleting them in a “bulk, aggressive or indiscriminate manner”. This action violates the rules and regulations set by Twitter.
It is a known fact that to add more followers to their own accounts, the spammers follow a lot of accounts out of which a majority of them will follow back. Once the spammer gets the follow back, they then remove themselves/ unfollows the user they had followed earlier. The person who follows such spam accounts gets a lot of spam posts on their own feed. But those users who don’t follow the spammer back would be unfollowed. And to get more followers, the spammers do this over a large number of times continuously. And since Twitter has very little control over this action of the spammers, it is changing the follow limit one can follow in a day to 400.
Yoel Roth, the Head of Site Integrity at Twitter in a series of tweets explained that by lowering the number of followers one user can follow in a day won’t stop them but it will definitely slow them down. He also noted that, the reduced number will make the spam accounts ‘less effective, slower and expensive to operate’. According to him, the 400-limit mark is a reasonable limit for the people to follow the users of their choice but it would also reduce the number of spammers on the platform.
Although, reducing the number of accounts one can follow in a day might seem like a huge change but according to Roth, 99.87% of the users will be unaffected by this. His tweet read, “Most people don’t need or want to follow that many accounts. But some legitimate accounts, like businesses providing customer service by DM, actually do need it, and we want to avoid burdening them.” Now with the follow limit reduced, the spammers and the spam accounts will take a heavy toll and are expected to slow their operations down.
Today, we lowered the limit on the number of accounts you can follow per day from 1000 to 400. Some people are wondering why we picked 400. Well, I’m glad you asked. Nerdy thread on rate limits and anti-spam technology 👇… https://t.co/DZTkqo2dqi
— Yoel Roth (@yoyoel) April 8, 2019
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