If you’ve been paying attention, you might have noticed that sometimes, people use Twitter for not-so-nice reasons.
Reasons like spamming hashtags, creating fake profiles, or, you know, trying to destabilize the democratic process in other countries.
(Little stuff like that.)
Back in February 2018, Twitter announced a few major policy changes to prevent the types of behaviors that hurt the overall user experience.
Part of the Twitter terms of service means cracking down on bots, so users don’t have to contend with so many fraudulent accounts in their timelines and mentions.
Twitter post rules mean there are limitations on what users can do using schedulers and automation tools – so if you’ve ever scheduled a tweet, this is something you want to know about!
Here at MeetEdgar, we want to encourage a user experience that’s in line with the Twitter TOS. This article will outline the sorts of actions that could get you in trouble on Twitter.
(Because even if Twitter’s TOS changes weren’t made to stop you from doing what you’re doing, sticking to the rules is usually a pretty good idea anyway.)
How to follow the Twitter terms of service
Although there has not been a Twitter new terms of service since the big announcement back in 2018, there have been some updates on privacy policies and policies to help stop the spread of misinformation.
So, how can you abide by the rules for Twitter and not accidentally get into trouble?
Let’s take a closer look.
Posting identical content across multiple accounts
When you manage more than one Twitter account, it can make a lot of sense to share certain tweets on both accounts.
A place like The New York Times, for example, might write a single tweet that it can use for several of the different Twitter accounts it manages:
Nothing too controversial about that, right?
Unfortunately, scheduling the same tweet to go out on multiple accounts can also be a little, well, shady.
For example, a business owner who wants to make it seem like they have a lot of fans might whip up a few hundred fake accounts, write a single promotional Tweet, then send it out using all of them:
And that’s a pretty modest example!
Imagine thousands of phony profiles based in your hometown, for example, all tweeting using the same hashtag and fooling Twitter into promoting that hashtag in your trending topics. When one person or group is able to send the same message to multiple accounts all at once, it can seriously disrupt the free flow of information!
Twitter has a clear directive to scheduling tools: “your service should not permit a user to select several accounts they control from which to publish a given tweet.”
For example, the policy does not allow a single social update to be associated with more than one Twitter account. In accordance with Twitter’s TOS, it is only assignable to one Twitter account at a time.
This change to Twitter’s TOS made the network a lot more useful for everyone in the long run – because honestly, less spam and fewer bots are pretty good things to work toward.
Performing simultaneous actions across accounts
In the past, some tools have given users the option of performing a single type of action, like retweeting or following, from multiple accounts.
Twitter put a stop to that with their new Twitter TOS updated in 2020 called the Platform Manipulation and Spam policy.
As per their TOS Twitter “Do not (and do not allow users to) simultaneously perform actions such as likes, retweets, or follows from multiple accounts.”
It’s pretty easy to imagine how this sort of ability could be taken advantage of – or even abused.
Imagine a business owner who retweets one of their company’s tweets from hundreds of fake accounts all at once, or a social media manager who uses fake accounts to like a client’s tweets and artificially inflate their engagement rates!
These aren’t things that the average marketer or entrepreneur are probably doing, but Twitter wants to keep it under control.
So stay away from tools that allow you to do things like select multiple Twitter accounts you manage and perform the same action from all of those accounts at once. Behavior like this is in violation of Twitter’s TOS!
Scheduling and automating identical tweets
In the past, actions like recycling your tweets by posting them again and again over time were only considered problematic in excess, like a user posting the same tweet every couple of minutes.
By comparison, posting the same tweet that you posted a day, a week, or a month ago was generally considered fair game – even to the extent that major brands and media companies made it a staple of their content strategies.
But that has not been the case for several years now.
Twitter significantly increased its limitations on recycling tweets – a decision that ultimately curbed a lot of spammy and abusive behavior.
It also meant a slight shift in the way marketers plan and share their content.
So, what do Twitter’s policies have to say about recycling your content these days?
Here’s one behavior that may get you flagged for spamming, from the Twitter rules:
“If you post duplicative or substantially similar content, replies, or mentions over multiple accounts or multiple duplicate updates on one account, or create duplicate or substantially similar accounts.”
(Take special note of that “multiple duplicate updates on one account” part.)
And from Twitter’s automation rules:
“You may not post duplicative or substantially similar tweets on one account or over multiple accounts you operate.”
Long story short?
Whether you recycle your tweets across multiple Twitter accounts or on just one, it’s officially against the tweet rules – and Twitter enforces those rules more strictly than ever.
This means you can’t write an update and send it to both your personal account and to your company’s branded account. If you’re using a scheduler like Edgar, you can not check off more than one Twitter account on the content composer to have that tweet go out to both of them at the same time.
Rest assured, Edgar does have precautions that have been put in place that no longer let you check off two Twitter accounts in the composer, so if you are a current Edgar user, you know we’ve got your back. We’re not going to let you be in violation of this rule. No worries there.
So how do you keep on sharing your evergreen content without violating the rules of Twitter? With some smart rewording and switching up your media of course! Here are eight simple ideas for creating variations for your tweets.
Twitter new TOS to stop misleading content
We don’t need to tell you this, but you shouldn’t share content on Twitter that could be deemed misleading or interfere with any civic processes.
In October 2021, Twitter updated its Civic integrity policy so that anyone sharing misleading information would be penalized or banned from the platform.
Twitter now highlights information it deems to be false or misleading and users can report misinformation. They even partnered with a team of professional fact checkers to try and eliminate misinformation from the platform.
They are cracking down on users who spread fake news and other false information to make the platform a safer, more user-friendly place for people to network.
Here’s some more inspiration on using Twitter authentically:
Edgar’s variations & auto variations features
When Twitter’s terms of services changed, we wanted to find a way that our users could quickly and easily create multiple variations on the same piece of content so you can stay within Twitter’s TOS and continue to promote the same piece of content without having to constantly add updates to your library.
You can use Edgar variations and auto variations to do this!
When you add new content into Edgar, you can add variations using the Add Variation button.
You can add as many variations as you’d like so you can keep promoting that specific piece of content on Twitter and you can keep your posts fresh and different on Facebook and LinkedIn.
Once you’ve hit “Save to Library,” Edgar automatically saves all your different variations into your library.
Because of Twitter’s TOS, variations for Twitter accounts will automatically expire after they have been posted so you don’t have to worry about any variations violating Twitter’s terms of service!
Since Edgar is smart, he saves all your variations together in a batch. This way, Edgar won’t pull from the same batch of variations twice so you won’t have variations posting back to back. (Just make sure you have pieces of content scheduled in your category!)
In your content library, you can see which updates have variations in the right corner. Edgar even tells you if variations have expired for Twitter.
You can also easily see all your variations in each batch. They stay perfectly organized for you!
But since Edgar likes to be extra helpful, we made it even easier to create variations with the auto variations feature!
With the auto variations feature, Edgar will write your variations for you!
Here’s how it works:
You write a status with a link to some content, whether that’s a landing page, blog post or article.
Then click the “Auto-generate variations” button and Edgar will pull out key phrases and sentences from the link to generate variations for you!
This quick video demo will give you a glimpse at how the magic happens:
It’s just like magic, isn’t it?
What do you think of Twitter’s TOS?
Do you have experience repurposing your Twitter content to stay in line with the terms of service?
Have you had problems with misinformation on the platform?
Have Twitter cast their net too wide in their efforts to stop spam, or do you think it’ll all make Twitter a better place in the end?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!