Twitter Now Removing Blacklisted Accounts

twitter.png(I’m beginning to move much of my activity over to FriendFeed lately. Scoble calls it the “World Wide Talk Show” – please subscribe to my feed to comment and participate!)

I was going to write a few more of my annoyances with Twitter today, but a few pleasant announcements have come out of Twitter lately that I thought I’d share.

First, just announced today, Twitter will be shutting down accounts entirely that they have marked as “spam” on their blacklist. What??? Twitter has a blacklist? Yes, you heard it right.

Before today, Twitter would mark accounts as “spam”, but not tell the owners of the accounts they marked them as spam. Those owners of the accounts could follow others, but no one was able to follow them, and there was no way for the owners of those accounts to know they had been blacklisted. It was the same with the API – it was actually a huge headache for me as a Twitter API developer because despite me following the user, Twitter would respond with nothing as though the follow went through, but the next day the user would show up again as not being followed. I checked with Twitter and they confirmed the accounts I was having trouble with were indeed accounts that were on their “blacklist”.

Today, Alex Payne confirmed on the Twitter Dev mailing list that from now on users marked as Spam on Twitter will have their accounts suspended entirely for violating the Terms of Service. He also confirmed that they would avoid the headaches Facebook has had (aka Scoble’s account being suspended) and contact the owners beforehand to let them state their case.

I strongly welcome this new practice – Twitter has all the stats on their end to flag accounts as possible spammers, and by removing their accounts promptly this will make Twitter a much nicer place to use. The only other thing I would suggest they add now that this is in place is a way for developers to notify them of possible Spam accounts. You can do this as a user by “blocking” the account in question – I have no way to do this as a developer that I’m aware of.

The second, very welcomed feature is the addition of a “since” variable when requesting the friends or followers of an individual. In the past on SocialToo.com I had to do a request on all of an individual’s friends and all of an individual’s followers, and do a compare to see which of those following you, you weren’t following. For several A-list bloggers with near tens of thousands of followers, this was taking a few hours to complete the entire script, not to mention increasing the number of HTTP requests back to Twitter’s servers, I’m sure further burdening their already overburdened bandwidth.

Now, with the “since” variable, I can keep a tally of when I last checked your following/follower ratio and only do a request on those friends that have followed you since the last check. I can now go from checking those you follow on a daily basis, to checking almost every minute!

Last, Twitter has added the ability to determine, with one API call if a friendship exists between two individuals. Now rather than having to get a list of those you’re following, and then those that have followed you, I can just get a list of those following you and check to see that a friendship exists.

It is very refreshing to see such an active effort on Twitter’s part to help out the development community. I hope they continue to maintain the relationship they have with us, and continue to listen – many of us really want to see them succeed.

Advertisements

46 thoughts on “Twitter Now Removing Blacklisted Accounts

  1. Flype Club isn't spam. People can choose to follow or block on their own free will. The ratio is also totally wrong. There is a difference between direct marketing for profit & a group of people presenting some form of warped entertainment. Twitter black list has become judge & jury inside of a system that was free. Why should twitterlantes with their own set of morals be allowed to dictate how people behave. We are glad for the free publicity but that doesn't mean that a small group of individuals should try to force their beliefs on to everyone.

    Like

  2. Flype Club isn't spam. People can choose to follow or block on their own free will. The ratio is also totally wrong. There is a difference between direct marketing for profit & a group of people presenting some form of warped entertainment. Twitter black list has become judge & jury inside of a system that was free. Why should twitterlantes with their own set of morals be allowed to dictate how people behave. We are glad for the free publicity but that doesn't mean that a small group of individuals should try to force their beliefs on to everyone.

    Like

  3. […] Twitter自身も、公式のブラックリストを持ってはいた。このリストに載る基準は定かではないが、しかしスパム行為に巻き込もうとした十分な数の人々からブロックされてしまったというようなものなのだろう。Jesse Stay explains: 本日まで、Twitterは特定のアカウントを「スパム」と認定しても、アカウント所有者にスパム認定がなされたことを伝えてこなかった。該当アカウントのオーナーは、他の人をフォローすることはできるが、しかし他の人がそのスパマーアカウントをフォローすることはできないようになっていた。スパムアカウントの所有者が、自身がブラックリストに載せられたのを知る方法はなかった。 […]

    Like

  4. […] Twitter has announced that it will begin to shut down the accounts of users that they believe are generating spam, reports Jesse Stay. “Before today, Twitter would mark accounts as ’spam’, but not tell the owners of the accounts they marked them as spam. Those owners of the accounts could follow others, but no one was able to follow them … Today, Alex Payne confirmed on the Twitter Dev mailing list that from now on users marked as Spam on Twitter will have their accounts suspended entirely for violating the Terms of Service.” Read the story. […]

    Like

  5. I guess I got listed as a spammer because today my account of almost 2 years was suspended. I hope I get it back. Not sure what I did wrong.
    -Janet
    @newspapergrl (formerly)

    Like

  6. I guess I got listed as a spammer because today my account of almost 2 years was suspended. I hope I get it back. Not sure what I did wrong.
    -Janet
    @newspapergrl (formerly)

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s