Twitter Looks to Tighten Control Over Developers

Twitter Looks to Tighten Control Over Developers

Twitter has announced new developer requirements designed to combat spam, privacy invasion and attempts to “manipulate conversations” on the social media platform.

The firm claimed to have kicked 143,000 apps which violated its policies off the site between April and June this year but wants to go further to improve visibility and control over developers’ use of user data.

All new API requests will now need to go through a new developer account application process in a bid to reduce “spammy and low-quality apps,” the firm said. This will eventually be expanded to all developers with existing API access, although Twitter couldn’t specify when.

The firm said it’s also limiting the number of apps registered by a single developer account to 10.

In a further bid to reduce spam, Twitter is looking to introduce tighter controls on apps that create tweets, retweets, likes, follows and direct messages.

These rate limits represent “a significant decrease in the existing rate of POST activity allowed from a single app by default,” the firm claimed. For example, from September 10 apps will only be allowed to post 300 combined tweets and retweets per three hours and 15,000 direct messages per 24 hours.

“Going forward, as apps approach these rate limits, we’ll continue to proactively review and contact developers with instructions about how to request elevated access,” the firm said. “These ongoing reviews will help avoid disruption for compliant developers, as well as help developers more quickly identify and address any behaviors that are non-compliant with our policies.”

The final new initiative is a “report a bad app” function in the Help Center designed to help users feedback when they spot abuses of Twitter’s policy.

The moves can be seen as something of a response to criticism of the social media platform following long-running Russian attempts to manipulate popular discourse on the site — most notably ahead of the 2016 presidential election.  

However, it remains to be seen whether the measures go far enough, and will be enough to root out malicious activity on the platform.

Source: Information Security Magazine