Twitter has said it would no longer allow users to post identical messages from multiple accounts, in what seems like a crackdown on tactics used by Russian trolls and others malicious actors to make tweets or topics go viral. Developers are now banned from using any system that simultaneously posts “identical or substantially similar” tweets from multiple accounts at once, or makes actions like liking, retweeting, and following across multiple accounts at once. Twitter will remove these options from its own TweetDeck app, and third-party developers have until March 23rd to comply. In a blog post, the social media company said these changes are “an important step in ensuring we stay ahead of malicious activity targeting the crucial conversations taking place on Twitter — including elections in the United States and around the world.” The focus of these changes are third-party applications that use Twitter's API to either simplify or automate sharing of content on the platform. Twitter says instead of sending out the same tweet from multiple accounts, users can post a single tweet and have other accounts retweet it. But there are some strings attached here as well as people won't be allowed to use “bulk, aggressive, or very high-volume automated retweeting.” The ban on bulk tweeting applies regardless of whether you’re posting a bunch of duplicate tweets at once or scheduling them across a longer time period. The major exceptions to this change are “weather, emergency, or other public service announcements of broad community interest” — so cyclone warnings and…
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