Many of these accounts were hugely popular, with hundreds of thousands or even millions of followers.
In addition to stealing people’s tweets without credit, some of these accounts are known as “tweetdeckers” due to their practice of teaming up in exclusive Tweetdeck groups and mass-retweeting one another’s — and paying customers’ — tweets into forced virality.
A Twitter spokesperson declined to comment on individual accounts, but BuzzFeed News understands the accounts were suspended for violating Twitter’s spam policy.
Tweetdecking, as it’s called, is an explicit violation of Twitter’s spam policy, which does not allow users to “sell, purchase, or attempt to artificially inflate account interactions.”
Still, Twitter has previously struggled to crack down on these accounts.
After a BuzzFeed News story uncovered the practice of tweetdecking in January, Twitter announced new spam-fighting changes to Tweetdeck, including removing the ability to simultaneously retweet a tweet across multiple accounts.
“Tweetdecking is over. Our follower gains are gonna diminish,” Andrew Guerrero, a 23-year-old tweetdecker in New Mexico, told BuzzFeed News after Twitter announced the changes in February. (Guerrero asked that his account name not be disclosed since it could get him suspended.)
Nevertheless, tweetdecking has persisted. No longer able to mass-retweet with a single click in Tweetdeck, many deckers have gone analog, manually DM’ing requests for a “RT 4 RT.”
This certainly isn’t the first time tweetdeckers have been suspended, and it’s unlikely to be the last. However, Friday’s mass suspensions were unprecedented in their scope; some of the suspended accounts, including @Dory and @GirlPosts, had amassed millions of followers.
Temporary suspensions are par for the course for deckers, and most get right back in the tweet-stealing game — sometimes on the same account after getting reinstated, and sometimes on entirely new accounts.
According to Twitter’s rules, violating the spam policy is grounds for permanent suspension. (As is creating a new account to evade a permanent suspension.)
So, will these suspensions be permanent, or will these deckers return to deck again? Only time will tell — but until then, the “#TweetdeckIsOverParty” goes on.