Twitter has finally started to enforce their policies regarding spam and contests. They have a set of rules that are set forth in their TOS that you must click OK to when you sign up for an account. There are also rules that limit the number of accounts one can have.. such as one main account, a jail account, and then a business account if you have a business or blog. Even though these rules are pretty much set in stone people continuously violate them day in and day out. They create multiple accounts in an attempt to win contests, they create new accounts once their's is suspended, and they even pretend to be a whole other person in an attempt to... wait for it.. WIN. Winning is not everything, winning on twitter is about relationships.. creating a relationship with companies, supporting their products, brands, and/or names. Companies are just being kind giving stuff away, but again it all boils down to following the rules.
I have been delaying even writing this post, even though I've worked on it and stopped and worked on it some more and stopped, but the recent turn of events that was brought to my attention prompted me to finally finish this post. The bottom line is cheaters... why do people cheat? Do they teach their cheating ways to their kids? Is that their theory of a good example? Not just that they cheat, they cheat and cheat and win like crazy. This is NOT fair at all to those of us who play fair with one account and one jail account. My accounts are crystal clear, Unkatchable73 and Unkatchable732, I have no blog account I use my own personal account because that account has already established relationships with companies on twitter. Companies that I support, blog about, and host giveaways for. Why do people feel the need to "win at all costs" with four and five different accounts? You see them online all day long, it makes me wonder what the inside of their homes looks like, how well cared for their children are, and of course I am willing to bet there are a ton of marital problems to boot.
So in relation to contests here is the cut and past of Twitter's policies regarding contests and encouraging RT'ing... which by the way is considered SPAM and you all should know just RT'ing contests is a quick one way ticket to get your account suspended. Once an account is suspended you are not allowed back onto twitter, so those of you on a new account because yours was suspended guess what.. I'm blowing you in for being on illegally, that is cheating.. cheating at it's best and I've about had it up to my ears with cheating. ....
Guidelines for Contests on Twitter (these are their rules)
Businesses, organizations, and even some creative individuals have hosted contests through their Twitter profile. Contests on Twitter may offer prizes for tweeting a particular update, for following a particular user, or for posting updates with a specific hashtag. If you’ve been thinking about hosting a contest using your Twitter profile, here are some simple guidelines to follow to ensure your contest doesn't ask anyone to violate any of Twitter's rules or guidelines:
Discourage the creation of multiple accounts
If users make lots of accounts in order to enter a contest more than once, they’re liable to get all of their accounts suspended. Please be sure to include a rule stating that anyone found to use multiple accounts to enter will be ineligible.
Discourage posting the same tweet Repeatedly
Posting duplicate, or near duplicate, updates or links is a violation of the Twitter Rules and jeopardizes search quality. Please don’t set rules to encourage lots of duplicate updates (like saying, “whoever retweets this the most wins”). Your contest could cause users to be automatically filtered out of Twitter search. Plus, instead of their followers seeing your cool contest, their followers might start getting annoyed by your contest. You might want to set a clear contest rule stating that multiple entries in a single day will not be accepted.
Ask users to include an @reply to you in their update so you can see all the entries
When it comes to picking a winner, you’ll want to see all the contestants. If the updates include @username mention to you, you’ll be able to see all the updates in your Mentions timeline (see here for more information on replies and mentions). Just doing a public search may not show every single update, and some contestants may be filtered from search for quality.
Encourage the use of topics relevant to the contest
You might decide to have users include relevant hashtag topics along with the updates (like #contest or #yourcompanyname). Keep in mind that hashtag topics need to be relevant to the update; encouraging users to add your hashtag to totally unrelated updates might cause them to violate the Twitter Rules.
Follow The Twitter Rules
While these guidelines should help keep your contest entrants in good standing, please make sure you also review both the Twitter Rules and our search best practices before starting your contest. If you’re a business on Twitter, you might also want to check out the Twitter 101 for Business guide for more information and tips.
For those of you who need a refresher on what the Twitter Rules are
The Twitter Rules
Our goal is to provide a service that allows you to discover and receive content from sources that interest you as well as to share your content with others. We respect the ownership of the content that users share and each user is responsible for the content he or she provides. Because of these principles, we do not actively monitor user’s content and will not censor user content, except in limited circumstances described below.
Content Boundaries and Use of Twitter
In order to provide the Twitter service and the ability to communicate and stay connected with others, there are some limitations on the type of content that can be published with Twitter. These limitations comply with legal requirements and make Twitter a better experience for all. We may need to change these rules from time to time and reserve the right to do so. Please check back here to see the latest.
Impersonation: You may not impersonate others through the Twitter service in a manner that does or is intended to mislead, confuse, or deceive others
Trademark: We reserve the right to reclaim user names on behalf of businesses or individuals that hold legal claim or trademark on those user names. Accounts using business names and/or logos to mislead others will be permanently suspended.
Privacy: You may not publish or post other people's private and confidential information, such as credit card numbers, street address or Social Security/National Identity numbers, without their express authorization and permission.
Violence and Threats: You may not publish or post direct, specific threats of violence against others.
Copyright: We will respond to clear and complete notices of alleged copyright infringement. Our copyright procedures are set forth in the Terms of Service.
Unlawful Use: You may not use our service for any unlawful purposes or in furtherance of illegal activities. International users agree to comply with all local laws regarding online conduct and acceptable content.
Misuse of Twitter Badges: You may not use a Verified Account badge or Promoted Products badge unless it is provided by Twitter. Accounts using these badges as part of profile pictures, background images, or in a way that falsely implies affiliation with Twitter will be suspended.
Spam and Abuse
Twitter strives to protect its users from spam and abuse. Technical abuse and user abuse is not tolerated on Twitter.com, and will result in permanent suspension. Any accounts engaging in the activities specified below are subject to permanent suspension.
Serial Accounts: You may not create serial accounts for disruptive or abusive purposes, or with overlapping use cases. Mass account creation may result in suspension of all related accounts. Please note that any violation of the Twitter Rules is cause for permanent suspension of all accounts.
Username Squatting: You may not engage in username squatting. Accounts that are inactive for more than 6 months may also be removed without further notice. Some of the factors that we take into account when determining what conduct is considered to be username squatting are:
the number of accounts created
creating accounts for the purpose of preventing others from using those account names
creating accounts for the purpose of selling those accounts
using feeds of third-party content to update and maintain accounts under the names of those third parties
Invitation spam: You may not use Twitter.com's address book contact import to send repeat, mass invitations.
Selling user names: Unless you have been specifically permitted to do so in a separate agreement with Twitter, you agree that you will not reproduce, duplicate, copy, sell, trade or resell the Services for any purpose, where "Services" is defined as follows: Your use of Twitter’s products, services and web sites (referred to collectively as the “Services” in this document and excluding any services provided to you by Twitter under a separate written agreement) is subject to the terms of a legal agreement between you and Twitter.
Malware/Phishing: You may not publish or link to malicious content intended to damage or disrupt another user’s browser or computer or to compromise a user’s privacy.
Spam: You may not use the Twitter service for the purpose of spamming anyone. What constitutes “spamming” will evolve as we respond to new tricks and tactics by spammers. Some of the factors that we take into account when determining what conduct is considered to be spamming are:
If you have followed a large amount of users in a short amount of time;
If you have followed and unfollowed people in a short time period, particularly by automated means (aggressive follower churn);
If you repeatedly follow and unfollow people, whether to build followers or to garner more attention for your profile;
If you have a small number of followers compared to the amount of people you are following;
If your updates consist mainly of links, and not personal updates;
If you post misleading links;
If a large number of people are blocking you;
The number of spam complaints that have been filed against you;
If you post duplicate content over multiple accounts or multiple duplicate updates on one account;
If you post multiple unrelated updates to a topic using #;
If you post multiple unrelated updates to a trending or popular topic;
If you send large numbers of duplicate @replies or mentions;
If you send large numbers of unsolicited @replies or mentions in an attempt to spam a service or link;
If you add a large number of unrelated users to lists in an attempt to spam a service or link;
If you repeatedly post other users' Tweets as your own;
If you have attempted to "sell" followers, particularly through tactics considered aggressive following or follower churn;
Creating or purchasing accounts in order to gain followers;
Using or promoting third-party sites that claim to get you more followers (such as follower trains, sites promising "more followers fast," or any other site that offers to automatically add followers to your account);
If you create false or misleading Points of Interest;
If you create Points of Interest to namesquat or spam.
Pornography: You may not use obscene or pornographic images in either your profile picture or user background
Your account may be suspended for Terms of Service violations if any of the above is true. Please see our help pages on Following Best Practices and Automation Rules and Best Practices for a more detailed discussion of how the Rules apply to those particular account behaviors. Accounts created to replace suspended accounts will be permanently suspended.
Accounts engaging in any of these behaviors may be investigated for abuse. Accounts under investigation may be removed from Search for quality. Twitter reserves the right to immediately terminate your account without further notice in the event that, in its judgment, you violate these Rules or the Terms of Service.
AGAIN - I will say it, I'm sick and tired of cheaters on twitter. If you cant' play by the rules I am not going to be shy about it, I am going to report you for SPAM and other violations. Seeing Twitter has begun to start suspending accounts to people doing these things (thankfully) I am going to encourage them to keep doing it. People need to wake up and realize that winning is not everything.. you will not die, faint, fall over, or get the flu over not winning. If you win, support that company you won from.. DO NOT just win and jet. Those that win and do nothing are takers.. you take and take and give nothing back. Please make sure to thank the sponsors who giveaway things and hosts who spend their time hosting these amazing parties. Most importantly STOP CHEATING and SPAMMING.