Twitter, apparently with a bee within its bonnet, has started banning a whole load of South African accounts, with a special emphasis on influencers. According to MyBroadband, Twitter users first noticed the trend in bans this past weekend, particularly on 13 February. There’s no word from Twitter as to why they’re banning these accounts but several users have speculated that influencers are being targeted due to violations of the platform’s terms and conditions.
“Platform manipulation” is the primary issue people suspect is behind these bans, but that’s just speculation. A relatively viral tweet made the rounds, claiming that users would be safe from the ban-hammer as long as they removed “DM for promo” from their bios. This was later debunked by another user.
I'd like to alert some people and save their accounts from getting suspended, if you have written "DM for promo" in your bio, quickly erase it before it's too late. Twitter is targeting the accounts that openly state that they do promos. Check this out. pic.twitter.com/QGgeuOXT29
— Charisma 🇿🇦 (@AskCharisma) February 13, 2021
Twitter might be as sick of influencers as we are
In case you’re unfamiliar with the phrase, an “influencer” is someone that uses their personal social media brand and following to market brand’s products. In effect, they’re very popular people that take pictures with a new phone to try and convince people to buy them; they constitute ‘unprofessional’ or guerilla marketing for brands that want their names all over Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
If the reports of these bans are accurate, then the influencers allegedly affected will be very annoyed that one of their biggest platforms is now inaccessible. It takes time to build the sort of following one usually associates with an influencer, so a ban would detract greatly from any potential marketing deals. What a pity… now they’ll all need to go get a real job. Maybe Birdwatch can help those disgruntled parties air their grievances…