Twitter Gets Tough And Unleashes The Ban Hammer

Posted on: December 15th, 2011 by Darren McLaughlin 5 Comments

I've pointed out a few times this year that the waters have been turning ugly for affiliate marketers. The industry has often been associated with spam so it's not surprising that Google would go after affiliates a bit. Google is not the only one getting in on the act, though. Ana Hoffman, of Traffic Generation Cafe learned the hard way about some Twitter rules that are worth noting. Ana recently found out her main Twitter account had been suspended. After a period of waiting for an answer from Twitter, it arrived.


They gave her three distinct reasons that her account was banned and indicated the ban would not be lifted.


  • Creating serial and/or multiple accounts with overlapping use cases
  • Cross-posting Tweets or links across accounts
  • Aggressive following, particularly through automated means

The third one has always been in Twitter's TOS as far as I can remember.  If you 'aggressively follow' this could end poorly.  Generally, they'll block your account after a few hundred follow requests.  I assume they now look for a 'pattern of abuse.'  If they plan on punishing people for this rule infraction, you can expect many of the users with the largest follower accounts to also by suspended or banned. Let's face it, most of them gained followers by 'following first.'

Twitter Ban Hammer Falls

Twitter Drops The Ban Hammer


Overlapping Use Cases Must Be Avoided


Now this rule seems a bit new.  Apparently you can't have more than one Twitter account for basically the same reason.  I'm not sure when Twitter started punishing people for this one, but this could affect a lot of accounts.  If you have more than one Twitter account you need to edit them so that they aren't too similar.  This also ties in to the other violation, in which they said Ana was suspended for 'Cross-posting Tweets or links across accounts.'


This seems like a new rule.  I myself have been guilty of doing this.  I will now stop, knowing that it's against Twitter rules and will end up in a ban.


It seems we're at the Twitter stage where they start cracking down and imposing rules that were supposedly always there.   Anyone who is familiar with Google search will recognize a pattern.  When the service first starts off and tries to gain popularity, the company leaders 'look the other way' when inflationary tactics happen.  After all, it helps make the website's growth look much greater than it really is.  As they try and distill the chaos into some sort of business logic, they end up lashing out at the very community that helped make them famous in the first place.


Das Boot Has Fallen On Ana Hoffman


Once the ban hammer has been unleashed, it's rare it will be relinquished.  Expect many more bans and suspensions coming soon.  If your Twitter account hasn't been suspended yet, keep in mind these three rules.  Slow down on the following.  Be careful about any automation tools you're using.  Realize exactly how they work and make sure you understand the implications of using them. Ana Hoffman has learned her lessons and has started a new Twitter account. Having 'Das Boot' land on you is never a good thing, but perhaps a few others will learn from this ordeal and avoid having it happen to them. I know I will. I will now make sure to always 'custom craft' any Tweets before sending them out. No one wants to have to start over from the very beginning, so we'll all just have to follow Twitter's new rules. I bet we see more of them as the days progress, too.


Have you ever had a problem at Twitter?



5 Responses

  1. Liane Markus

    December 19, 2011

    Well it seems that twitter can be a good source to advertise your own product. It can also be a way that the affiliate marketing will not going to be ugly anymore.
    Liane Markus recently posted..Baby EagleMy Profile

  2. Heather

    December 19, 2011

    Maybe it’s one of those cases that it didn’t matter until it mattered.

  3. Liane Markus

    December 22, 2011

    I think I will be agreeing with you Heather. This cannot be avoided and with lots of social medias that is utilize at this point of time, Twitter should really come up with a plan on how they will be able to succeed and become more popular.
    Liane Markus recently posted..אילוף גוריםMy Profile

  4. Theresa Torres

    December 23, 2011

    Hi Darren and Heather,
    I was one of the surprised ones when I found out that Ana’s twitter account has been suspended. I was also dismayed because I’ve also been guilty of cross-posting tweets.
    I thought it was rather harsh. They should have at least given some sort of a warning or notification.
    I will also be more careful of my accounts and tweets from now on.
    Theresa Torres recently posted..Happy Holidays: Holiday Season in AmericaMy Profile

  5. Darren McLaughlin

    December 26, 2011

    Hello Theresa,

    Thanks for stopping by :) I know what you mean. I have definitely cross-posted Tweets! I stopped doing it when I learned about this ban.

    I always remember the rule about ‘aggressive following’ being in there, but they didn’t use to enforce it. Otherwise you wouldn’t see accounts with 250,000 followers and followbacks :)


    Darren McLaughlin recently posted..Web Design Made Easy With Web Presence BuilderMy Profile


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