Twitter Development and Follow Blacklists

I’ve been playing with a new site lately that will be doing some integration with Twitter (more about that later). I realized the other day that several people that were following me, but I wasn’t following, weren’t being added to my friends list with my Twitter auto follow script.

I researched the issue, and realized that while the API calls were being made, and Twitter was responding as though I was now following them, when I would go back to the Twitter UI it would show up as myself not following them still.

For those unaware, there is a Twitter Development Google group that you can subscribe to to discuss Twitter development. The Twitter devs follow this group and openly answer questions about Twitter development. I mentioned my problem there, and after some going back and forth to convince them there was a problem, they responded.

It turns out that Twitter actually has their own Blacklist internally. If you try to follow too many people within a short time you can easily, at least temporarily, get blacklisted from anyone following you, or you following anyone else. This is why my API calls were not working on some individuals – at the API level Twitter acts as though they are being followed, but in the end they aren’t. The Twitter devs said they are working on a better blacklisting system for the future, and will expose the API to that when it becomes available.

So, for those holding out for ability to blacklist spammers on Facebook, it could be coming soon! It also brings comfort that Twitter is also taking measures to combat spam.

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Jesse Stay has been a pioneer in the space of social media marketing since before it was called "social media marketing". Originally a software developer, Jesse built a tool called which helped brands like Pepsi, Brittany Spears, and MC Hammer grow their social media presence, and before he knew it brands were coming to him for help to grow their presence in very unique ways. His tool was featured on almost every tech blog and even mainstream news sites like New York Times, Techcrunch, and Mashable. Jesse also spent a brief period working FOR Facebook, Inc., helping them to build out their documentation to help companies integrate Facebook Connect into their websites and mobile apps. Jesse took his skills and helped the LDS Church kick off most of its social media programs. While there he helped launch the award-winning "I'm a Mormon" marketing campaign with global reach worldwide in the millions of views and followers. Jesse established new global programs at the Church to further grow its reach amongst both members and non-members of the Church, working with every department of the Church, also including entities like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Brigham Young University. He also helped the Church navigate its voice and presence during the Mitt Romney Presidential campaign due to the significant attention the Church was getting at the time. He established the social media advertising techniques and strategies employed at Deseret Digital Media growing over 20 million fans across their news properties in just 6 months, and was featured on AdWeek for his success. As founder and Principal of Stay N Alive, Jesse has developed very unique techniques in social media advertising to help organizations grow presences, within months on minimal budgets, into hundreds of thousands of highly relevant and engaging fans and followers. He designed and teaches social media advertising at LDS Business College. He has helped grow sales, and has a belief that yes, you CAN measure social! Jesse has been featured as one of 10 entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter (next to Biz Stone and Ev Williams, founders of Twitter) by Entrepreneur magazine. Jesse has written 9 books on the topic of social media marketing and development, including Google+ Marketing For Dummies and Facebook All In One For Dummies, and eats, lives, and drinks social media with a personal combined presence of over 600,000 followers on his personal social profiles.

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