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Don’t send @mentions to many users rapidly.

by Zach Green on February 11, 2013

in Twitter Campaign Tips

Twitter works hard to detect accounts promoting a product by @mentioning everyone. You’ve seen it. Somebody with only a few followers sends an endless series of nearly identical tweets, likely with a link lacking explanatory text.

That’s why sending too many @mentions in too short a time period can set off Twitter spam filters and get you suspended.

Debates are common on Twitter, but group arguments involving multiple parties are dangerous to your account. Participants may try to end the conversation by blocking your account. You can get suspended if you have just @mentioned many of them in a short time period.

Don’t expose yourself by getting into heated arguments with multiple people at once. Strip out @mentions of everyone except the person you’re talking with directly. Slow down and try not to talk with too many people at once, especially if they aren’t friendly.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

@bannerite February 11, 2013 at 3:45 pm

what if your acct. get’s caught in an argument and you aren’t participating? should you ask to be left out of conversation?

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Zach Green February 11, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Twitter only cares about your mentions. If you don’t @mention or follow other users first, their algorithms don’t care nearly as much if you are later reported.

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@ccarolynanne February 11, 2013 at 4:20 pm

I have twice been suspended for “sending spam”. Evidently I sent too many tweets to various Congress people supporting a cause, e.g. @SenatorName Please support VAWA…, or @SenatorName Please support gun control…, etc. Is there any way to avoid this problem?
It seems unfair, as Congress people make their tweet addresses public and request citizen comments. Twitter refuses to answer my request for their @mention limits, and I tweet no where near their help-page stated allowable 1000/day. Even if I had the time and took the effort, there are 100 senators and about 435 house members.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

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Zach Green February 11, 2013 at 4:23 pm

Sending the same tweet to multiple parties by changing the initial @mention is a common technique used by real spam accounts, and can result in suspension even when used for political activism. I would suggest changing the message connected with each @mention. That said, mentioning 535 accounts in a short time-frame can result in suspension, especially if recipients block or report you for spam. Slow down, and perhaps use multiple accounts :)

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Ipomea@Santanumalbum February 11, 2013 at 7:13 pm

What about retweets? I retweet a lot. When I followed UniteBlue members, I would check their tweets and would retweet the ones I liked

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Zach Green February 11, 2013 at 7:15 pm

No official releases from Twitter indicate retweeting can result in suspension, but anecdotal evidence indicates aggressive retweeting, especially with other factors, might be a problem.

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@letat_lechat February 14, 2013 at 10:51 pm

What is the difference between an @reply and an @mention? Also: During conversations, there may be three or even four @’s involved? If all are participating, is the sheer number of accounts in the conversation a problem?

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Zach Green February 19, 2013 at 11:22 am

@letat_lechat @replies come at the beginning in response to a Tweet, while @BarackObama @mentions appear anywhere unsolicited.

Many people simply participating in a group conversation is fine, but if one or more accounts block you after participating then you are more vulnerable to suspension.

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ClarissaSmith2 February 24, 2013 at 11:22 am

Last week I had two hefty battles against cons and libertarians with other UniteBlue members involved. Ironically, the battle against the cons ended with the suspension of the con….somebody guessed he had replied too often with too less followers. The battle against the libertarians ended with me blocked and I returned the block. So yes, if I risk this too often, it might destroy my account. This wouldn’t be funny, since my 2012 campaign tweets link to my thousands of comments on Alan Colmes’ blog–the one and only way to actually find them there.

So, after oversleeping I came to the conclusion that I really should mind you’re warning. It wasn’t easy, since I’m really a warhorse, always seeking the fight. And frankly, I’m not at all used to not finally defeat the other side.

Having overslept these point I now come to the conclusion that I will go on attending these debates, deleting all non-liberal @s before tweeting the reply. So this is my new ignore strategy, after reading this article here.

Another case could be a con’s reply to one of my tweets. Not to talk back at all would pain me. Here’s my solution now: I object via an extra tweet which won’t address anybody directly.

My goal is to be strong in the 2014 campaign. All I want is the House back to the Democratic/progressive side!!

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mahilena December 24, 2013 at 2:00 am

Yes I think I just experienced your point Zach, I got suspended again for sending multiple replies and mentions, but tonight I noticed it was weird cause I have been staying away from multiple hostile conversations but it happened anyways and long and behold I went thru each one of my tweets after getting the account unsuspended and found that I had send a tweet to glennbeck, who had blocked me before…this I am pretty sure caused the suspension because none of the others had blocked me ( I checked)

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Laurence Burris April 12, 2014 at 10:27 am

Thank you for answering my question of what happened to me last year in my tweeting. Now it makes sense.

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