Twitter Jail is described as a scenario where a twitter user account loses ability to tweet. Find the complete details below.
Twitter is now a giant web service. Gone are the days when Twitter didn’t even have potential resources to cope with its meteoric growth that its users had almost gone used to seeing ‘Twitter Whale’ every once in a while, an infamous symbolic way of showing service unavailability due to unbearable overload on back end resources.
But now that Twitter has crossed more than 200Mn users, the amount of spam accounts, bots and suspicious users have also skyrocketed, faster than anyone could anticipate.
That has caused compromise on the quality of tweets in general, especially because spammers tend to spam trending topics among other things, which affects popular Twitter streams and leaves a poor impression on authentic users of the site.
All these things have lead Twitter to pose certain limitations on usage of every Twitter account, thereby keeping a check on spam accounts and their suspicious/unacceptable behavior.
One such limitation is better known as Twitter Jail.
What is Twitter Jail ?
Twitter Jail is described as a scenario where a twitter user account loses ability to tweet or write a Direct Message, basically losing any ability to communicate with anyone through Twitter. Other users can still write to the user affected by ‘Twitter Jail’ but the user itself is not given permission to use Twitter services for a certain period.
There’s another scenario where ‘Twitter Jail’ed user isn’t allowed to even login to his/her account for a certain time period.
When ‘Twitter Jail’ comes into act ?
According to user experiences, ‘Twitter Jail’ seems to occur when a user updates his status more than 100-150 times in an hour or 1000-1500 times in a day and can last between 30 minutes up to several hours. According to many reports from users who experienced Twitter Jail, the average period of Twitter Jail lasted about 2 hours, going up to 4 hrs in exceptional cases.
‘Twitter Jail’ can also occur when you try too many times to login to your account with wrong user credentials. Excessive (failed)login attempts raise a red flag in Twitter dictionary and make you suffer in ‘Twitter Jail’ for sometime.
Why Twitter Jail is in place ?
Twitter Jail has been provisioned to keep the spammers from overwhelming Twitter with spam tweets with links, which disrupt experience of authentic users and degrade overall quality of tweets. This way, Twitter gets to keep a tap on excessive usage of any Twitter account, which obviously doesn’t seem ‘human’ by any chance.
Spammers are always on the lookout for exploiting Twitter trends and other twitter user streams by sending thousands of automated tweets at any given time to gain traffic to their spam links. Twitter Jail, limits such behavior of spam bots and maintains the overall quality of information floating on Twitter.
In case of excessive (failed)login attempts, Twitter Jail acts to prevent possibility of account hacking.
Side-effect of Twitter Jail
Even an above average Social Media fanatic will not use Twitter so aggressively that he/she might face a Twitter Jail. But then there are certain circumstances wherein aggressive twitter users do cross the defined limit and get into an unfortunate trap known as Twitter Jail.
Such scenarios are more plausible when you’re in frequent conversation with several people on Twitter and you realize that you’ve gone over the max. limit of tweets/DMs which can be sent across in a certain timespan. Or this Twitter Jail can occur when you’re attending an event and live-tweeting about it at a voracious rate.
Just like any restriction that every big system tends to keep in place, there will always remain unwanted scenarios which will cause inconvenience to users but that’s something people will have to deal with.
How could ‘Twitter Jail’ be less annoying
There’s definitely a strong reason behind putting a cap on twitter usage and provisioning Twitter Jail for those who exceed defined limits. But there could be better way of putting the cap and ways to impose it.
As it is evident enough, spam bots always spam with tweets that contain some kind of link, generally a shortened one. To make things more effective and less problematic for authentic users, Twitter could limit the number of ‘tweets with links‘ in any given timespan.
Alternatively, Twitter could also put ‘age of twitter account’ as one of the parameters in judging whether the over-tweeting Twitter account is an authentic user or just another spam bot. As most spam accounts are created only for spamming purpose and usually created in recent history (as most spam accounts are soon or later suspended by Twitter anyway), this factor can prove very effective in filtering out spam users from authentic onces.