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Do not engage #TGDN accounts.

by Zach Green on January 19, 2013

in Uncategorized

Twitter makes it easy to report accounts for spam. When enough users report an account, it automatically gets suspended. Some users abuse this feature by organizing a group to report or “spam-block” a single account in order to get it suspended.

Conservatives created the “Twitter Gulag Defense Network” or #TGDN to stop spam-blocking attacks. Aware that accounts with more followers are less likely to get suspended, they mutually followed anyone else using #TGDN. Now that their group is organized and members are protected, they have begun targeted spam-blocking of progressive accounts, exactly what their group was created to oppose. Ironic.

The solution: do not engage. If you don’t @mention or follow an account first, Twitter doesn’t care whether that account spam-blocks you later. Never tweet or follow any account sporting #TGDN. Ignore any account that mentions you with #TGDN in their tweets. Unfollow any accounts with #TGDN in their biography.

Related: How To Unfollow #TGDN Members in 5 Steps
Related: Followers protect against account suspension.

Update: @ToddKincannon, who created the #TGDN, has recently come out against spam-blocking of accounts (h/t @soderstrom). This behavior is still prevalent among members of #TGDN, so avoidance remains your best strategy to cope. Hopefully this group will work to control bad actors among its ranks.

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

MarxDudek January 20, 2013 at 10:41 am

I hate to say it, but I contend that “Strength Through Numbers” to silence opposition has been the sole MO of #TGDN from day one. Zero irony.


givingrealness January 20, 2013 at 9:03 pm

They are falling apart. Check out ToddKincannon’s TL. People are not falling in line and their eating each other like a pack of hyenas.


Keith M January 23, 2013 at 9:37 pm

Why doesn’t twitter delete Kincannon. The guy is a true psychopath.


@Scytherius February 4, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Yeah, I wonder that too. It would seem that organizing people to lie about spam to get accounts deleted would, in and of itself, be a violation of the T&C of Twitter.


Sue Treadle January 25, 2013 at 1:00 am

Thanks for this. Something I did not know. What means this #tcot plz?


Zach Green January 25, 2013 at 6:34 pm

#tcot stands for Top Conservatives on Twitter


TonyFmTampa January 26, 2013 at 12:47 am

I block fidiots, and only spam block spammers yet you advocate blocking everyone in TGDN. Hrm.


Zach Green February 3, 2013 at 2:24 pm

To be clear: we suggest you unfollow TGDN members to protect from suspension. There is no need to block.


Usetobgop January 26, 2013 at 6:20 pm

Thanks for info. I did not know what tcot stood for either, so thanks for that too!

Ps…RWNJ’s are continuing to eat their own over there today. Just thought you’d like to know! ;)


WebAntOnYouTube January 26, 2013 at 6:39 pm

I believe I tweeted with at least one of these people and they got me spam blocked. Can anyone help? I am pretty sure I got targeted for being in Unite Blue and I had not yet gotten enough followers to be protected. When the suspension is liftel concentrate on one thing: adding Unite Blue members. In the meantime, tweet me to keep me encouraged okay. . Okay? I can still see when my friends tweet using @webantonyoutube. For now. Take care.


SydDem February 14, 2013 at 10:13 am

You got spam blocked for tweeting about that big radio bigot. Send your story to @uniteblue. You’ll get sprung soon, but be careful afterwards.


@jurassicpork January 26, 2013 at 9:14 pm

Fuck that. I’ve been blocking them and reporting them for spam in a nonstop frenzy for three days in a row now. Anyone I see using that hashtag that’s a #RWNJ gets blocked by me. I am NOT giving these lunatics more power and fear than they deserve.


margaret bernhard January 27, 2013 at 5:06 pm

I managed to get through to a Twitter engineer last night about the gaming of twitter by this group. Their replies led me to believe that these tactics may be investigated. Or maybe I’m just naive.


@Strange_Aeon January 29, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Does not twitter anti-spam algo cap number of accts a user can follow in a given period? Just askin’


Zach Green January 29, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Yes – I would suggest following 100 folks per day


@rrigordaeva January 30, 2013 at 9:21 am

I am a three time victim of this group. No free speech on twitter


Tom Lavallee February 2, 2013 at 6:07 pm

Got me twice. “Fool me once…” Oh well.

So I don’t know how I got back on but I did. Took a couple of days.

Any tips. Thanks


Zach Green February 3, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Post on how to get unsuspended…coming soon!


@AndrewSB49 February 13, 2013 at 5:15 am

Any update on how to get suspended, Zach? I’m missing my Twitter fix!


@AndrewSB49 February 13, 2013 at 5:15 am

OOOPS! I meant UNsuspended!

@rrigordaeva January 30, 2013 at 9:25 am

Miss my news feeds. Where else can i find up to date news feeds ?


Zach Green January 30, 2013 at 10:54 am has breaking trends.


@crossland68 February 3, 2013 at 12:29 am

Got a new follower today with #TGDN in the bio, and I reflexively blocked him so he can’t follow me. Does that count as “engagement”? I thought it was the safest thing to do.


@RATM4 February 5, 2013 at 2:44 pm

My own experience has been to mistrust anyone who follows you and then never tweets any thing. Had one of these guys last fall. What he was actually doing was spying or phishing off my retweets. I figured out what he was doing and blocked him. Last week, what do you know, UnitedBlue had him listed as one of the most prolific blockers on the twitter machine.
Advice: Look up the list at UniteBlue and see if you recognize any of your followers


@RezOKC February 5, 2013 at 6:08 pm

They’re not even bothering to wait, they seem to be (and effectively so) going down the list of UniteBlue members and picking them off like children in a schoolyard. I just had my backup account reinstated and it was blocked today for absolutely no reason. My original account is still suspended. This group of petty little boys is well on their way to destroying Twitter’s reputation as a social media tool, particularly where American political discussion is concerned.


Santanumalbum February 10, 2013 at 11:36 pm

I believe this has happened to me as we’ll. I had my original account for over three years. I had almost 3,000 followers. I had over 30,000 tweets. No trouble. Early Election Day I started a twitter conversation with the wrong people and my account was suspended 3times. I quit twitter. I learned of UniteBlue and thought I would try twitter again. Guess what? Suspended


@AndrewSB49 February 14, 2013 at 3:18 am

I’m back on Twitter. From Twitter to me:
- – - -
Twitter has automated systems that find and remove multiple automated spam accounts in bulk. Unfortunately, it looks like your account got caught up in one of these spam groups by mistake.

I’ve restored your account; sorry for the inconvenience.
- – - –

Continued success to #UniteBlue



Littleredblog February 5, 2013 at 6:40 pm

This is some really cool & pertinent info. Thank you!


AndrewSB49 February 9, 2013 at 5:52 am

I’m suspended now – anyone any idea how long the suspension lasts? I’ve been a Twitterer for over 3 years and never a complaint against me. I don’t spam or aggressively follow – I don’t even know what ‘following automation’ is – yet I’ve been silenced!


@jaazee1 February 19, 2013 at 8:50 pm

I’ve had my account suspended since Sunday. I don’t know the reason, don’t spam or use those “automated follower programs”, and try to keep conversations at an adult level. How can someone find out why they were suspended?
Maybe twitter needs more time…but I would like to get back online.


Zach Green February 19, 2013 at 8:53 pm

You should receive an email. If not, try signing into your account, then look for a banner at the top of the screen that might take you to unsuspend your account. It should give a reason, although perhaps broad and imprecise.


Ipomea@Santanumalbum February 10, 2013 at 11:41 pm

After reading these, I think we all need to get to twitter and find out what is going on. I believe we should be told the names of those who complained to twitter in the first place.


@bluebarnstormer February 12, 2013 at 9:46 am

I have been harassed by anti-Union trolls ever since I went public about the Hostess hedge funds. I had 7 suspensions in 60 days. Twitter is the accomplice with its failed suspension policies. I wrote about it here but have never received a rational explanation from Twitter.


@IntenseCA (David) March 2, 2013 at 7:26 am

Zach, Almost two years ago I was able to get accounts that actively promoted the spam/report to suspend function kicked off of Twitter. I did this by screen printing the blatant messages, even though of course they can check time lines. I had about 3 accounts that specifically asked all followers to spam, DM, report, etc. the account of Angelo (at the time using @stopBeck). Encouraging ppl to spam is of course a clear violation of twitter policy. So rather than go off on how these folks were rude, defaming, etc. i simply pointed out that they violated the TOS and attached screen prints as proof. Three accounts were not just suspended but kicked off in less than 24 hours. They came back, of course, by creating new accounts, but that is not the point. I recommend we (collectively) do the same with kincannon after reading the above. If he is asking people to spam, then simply report as a TOS violation.


@IntenseCA (David) March 4, 2013 at 7:18 am

it would help if they were specific in their follow and unfollow limits. i wonder what “aggressive following” is? some days i have followed more than 400. if they gave us rules to live by, we could be compliant sheep,


@ThunderDragon67 January 30, 2013 at 2:03 am

I created this @ThunderDragon67 AFTER my Primary Account, @MsRock4Ever was suspended for the THIRD time, but it has since been suspended FOUR times in 75 days. I told Twitter this is bordering on harassment, I think they Suspend anyone who gets so many reports, BUT they told me at different times that I was suspended for “Sending multiple unsolicited messages” and/or “Following Aggressively”. I have NEVER broken Twitter Rules, and I have NOT changed my actions or behavior on Twitter for the past couple of years, yet suddenly started getting all these suspensions, so I know I am being targeted by RWNJs who object to my political views.


Zach Green February 14, 2013 at 10:33 am

Post coming soon.


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