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  • Meerelle Cruz

Twitter Enforces New Policies Regarding “Copypasta” Tweets

Twitter users can search for a tweet that conveys a dubious perspective and discover a million replicants of the same message, spreading like a virus throughout the app.

For instance, comments like 'Nice project' and references to 'to the moon' and the like have grown increasingly popular beneath 900crypto project tweets. These are spam tweets - bot garbage intended to amplify specific messages.

Twitter is well aware of them, and it is now seeking to decrease their prominence in user feeds by issuing new, more precise guidelines on copied and pasted tweets, as well as how it will handle content that repeats the same phrasing.

What exactly is 'copypasta'?

It's effectively directly copied content used to amplify that message, however, Twitter also cautions that examples like the one above, where someone has duplicated a message but inserted alternative @user tags, will still be identifiable and actionable under this new policy.

The new policy lays out several potential consequences, including:

  • Tweets are no longer eligible for amplification in Top Search and Trends.

  • Not promoting Tweets to those who don't follow the author of the Tweet.

  • Retweets are being lowered in popularity.

  • Tweets and/or accounts in email, as well as in-product suggestions, are excluded.

These techniques, when taken together, will lower the visibility of these tweets, but they will remain in the timelines of users who follow each particular account, as well as in specific search results on a topic. However, violations of these rules will not result in account deletion.

“While copypasta or duplicative Tweets on their own do not result in Tweet removals or account suspensions, they are subject to review and enforcement under our platform manipulation and spam policy and any other Twitter Rules violations.”

Perhaps this is something Elon Musk will address in his upcoming Twitter bot eradication plan and it does seem like Twitter should do more on this front, as we can readily see such trends using a basic, manual tweet search. If we can discover them, Twitter will undoubtedly detect similar usage patterns. Perhaps that's too much manual labor, or perhaps the risk of false positives is too high at this point.

In any case, the basic result is that Twitter is stepping up its efforts to combat spambots while simultaneously tacitly admitting their right to continue spamming, albeit in a more limited capacity.

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