In social media it's worse than "I see dead people." When your browser says "You can no longer follow any more users." It is the social media equivalent of jail. Sleeping off your rampant Twitter Follow campaign may or may not help. Twitter's not sharing the rules. In the name of protecting us from the spammers, they are keeping a few of the rules to themselves. Let's look a bit deeper into this. What is Twitter Jail? (see also: Twitter Death – Suspended Accounts: FEAR THIS "Your account is currently suspended")

Screen Shot 2012 03 13 at 9.31.13 AM Twitter Jail: What is it? What are the rules? How do I break out?

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Okay, so Twitter is not big on the large follow and unfollow practice. So what do you do, just wait it out? It's clearly not my ratio that's holding me back. And when does Twitter reset my 1,000 follows per day?

If Twitter is going to have rules they need to publish them. The scammers are already shredding Twitter and pushing a lot of people off the platform in their first week of use. The current dropoff rate is about 70% after 30 days. The average follower count is 27.

So how can Twitter do better? How would their phenomenal growth be hurt by limited and killing the obvious spam and porn accounts? How about UNPUBLISHING peoples FOLLOWER and FOLLOWING counts all together? Kill the numbers game? But then, why would we work so hard to get more followers?

If Twitter is going to mature into a real platform, where people use Twitter.com rather than the API-enabled Twitter Apps, they are going to have to do a much better job of 1. sharing the real rules; and 2. killing spammy and DEAD Twitter accounts.

But what is their motivation? I've created at least 30 Twitter accounts myself for various projects and client work. And I have gone back and deleted maybe 5 of those accounts. And I'm not a spammer. So what about the off-shore dollar-a-day worker who can create more Twitter accounts in an hour than I could follow in a week? What kind of limit is Twitter placing on them? How is Twitter *really* working to kill spam, and porn, and MLM scammers, and twitter-bots?

Twitter wants to express their success in terms of number of users. And even stats like "record number of tweets during the Oscars" has a nice *marketing* ring to it for the Business of Twitter. But if 50% of those #oscars tweets were for $100 gift card scams, and porn sites looking for fresh follows, what is the business *win* at that point? What would that amazing growth number and that "record-setting" number of tweets be if Twitter got serious about KILLING and LIMITING spammers?

If Twitter got serious about killing and managing spammy and dead accounts, their numbers would go down significantly. And why would they do that? Managing the crap on Twitter, currently, is not in Twitter's best interest. But I think that will change.

Limiting and secret golden ratios are only hurting real users. Believe me, the brute force of low-cost labor is going to work around any limits and rules you set. For Twitter to make the transition into a real business platform in stead of a social media darling that no one understands, they will have to get serious about killing porn, spam, and scammers on Twitter.

It's your call Twitter. What's the answer?

Note: My real frustration at this moment is how to know when my Twitter Sentence has been lifted. I can't know, I just have to keep trying to follow and waiting for more people to follow me. Or do a round of unfollowing.

Updated Stat on this Post:

Screen Shot 2012 03 13 at 8.58.17 PM Twitter Jail: What is it? What are the rules? How do I break out?

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Screen Shot 2012 03 13 at 9.00.48 PM Twitter Jail: What is it? What are the rules? How do I break out?

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)
permalink: http://uber.la/2013/10/twitter-jail/

Reference: Twitter Help Page: Follow Limits (I can't follow people)

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