Twitter Rules for Dummies Now Short and Sweet Like a Tweet

Twitter Rules for Dummies

Do you wish the Twitter rules for dummies was short and sweet like a tweet? Just the other day Twitter updated their rules to be easier for all to understand. Or, so they said.

I was very excited to see this as many people have been messaging and/or emailing me about their Twitter suspension. These people wondered what they did to deserve such punishment via Twitter.

Twitter seemed to come down harder on peeps this past year than ever before. I often wondered what was happening.

Twitter rules for dummies updated

So, when I saw the headline in my Google alert that the Twitter rules were updated and shortened I was very excited! I had to research more for my readers at Inspire To Thrive.

I was very excited to see this as many people have been messaging me or emailing me about their Twitter suspension and wondering what they did to deserve such punishment via Twitter. #Twittertips Click To Tweet

Twitter Rules on Censorship

With the latest Covid-19 pandemic Twitter has begun censoring tweets that they deem “could place people at a higher risk of transmitting COVID-19.” (May, 2020.)

The new policy bans tweets denying expert guidance on the virus, encouraging “fake or ineffective treatments, preventions and diagnostic techniques” as well as tweets that mislead users by pretending to be from health authorities or experts.

But with all the controversy surround this hot topic, who is to say who is right or wrong? Some doctors treating patients do not agree with the numbers or the treatments.

Why can’t they debate it? This is America, land of the free, right?

Love him or hate him, even the President’s tweet was taking down from Twitter. Did they not want the bad publicity? But it’s not just Twitter folks, it’s also Facebook, YouTube, etc. (It may be time for a new social media network to form…)

Furthermore, some folks tweeting about this pandemic have had their Twitter accounts suspended!

With the latest Covid-19 pandemic Twitter has begun censorship tweets that they deem 'could place people at a higher risk of transmitting COVID-19.” #Twittercensorship Click To Tweet

Twitter on Hate Speech

Yes, another update from Twitter in December of 2020 as things heated up before and after the election in the United States.

Twitter Users Not Getting Answers Anymore

Here is a sample from Jourdan who wrote in to me on the blog here about his Twitter account being suspended. It’s a sample of many that I received after writing an updated post about Twitter jail back in 2017.

After all I, too ended up in Twitter jail a few times over the years. But now other Twitter users were not getting any feedback, or so they’ve said!

Twitter suspensions not going away

Twitter had not been as responsive as they were in the past. Some issues included:

  • Not having a mobile phone number associated with their Twitter account.
  • No emails associated with their Twitter account. Or loss of passwords which is an easier fix!
  • Breaking the rules 🙁  Obvious to some and not to others!

If your account has been limited – do check out the link via Twitter to help you!  This link will lead to a form that submits a ticket if you cannot login or to report a problem.

And, no I do not have the phone number to Jack Dorsey!

Yes, I’ve actually been been asked that several times over the recent months.

twitter issues

Afterall, I ended up in Twitter jail a few times over the years. #Twitterrules Click To Tweet

The Twitter Commitments

So, why is Twitter doing all this now? The word is Commitment! They claim they want to be fair, informative, responsive and accountable. Sounds great, right?

  • Fair – We will enforce our rules impartially and consistently, considering the context involved.
  • Informative – Twitter will inform you about actions taken against your account and why.
  • Responsive – You can appeal decisions that have impacted your account.
  • Accountable – We will be transparent about actions we take to promote healthy public conversation. Therefore, by publicly reporting the metrics we are using to measure health and by publishing a regular transparency report around violations of our rules.

I hope Twitter will be more responsive going forward. Anyone that has reached out to me I suggest you do go thru the link above if you believe you did not break the Twitter rules! For anyone that did, I am sorry but you will not be able to get your Twitter account back.

updated Twitter rules for dummies to avoid Twitter jail

I sure hope these Twitter rules for dummies will make it easier on you now!

What Are Some Things Twitter Deems Rule Breaking?

  • Behavior that is directed at an individual, group, or protected category of people;
  • The report has been filed by the target of the abuse or a bystander;
  • Users that have a history of violating our policies;
  • The severity of the violation;
  • Content that may be a topic of legitimate public interest.
  • Spamming the Twitter feed.
  • Direct message spamming.
  • Follow and unfollow at fast pace or through automation.
  • Posting the same tweets on duplicate accounts that you own.
  • Username squatting – A new term you can read more about below.
  • Buying or selling usernames.

How is Twitter Enforcing Their Twitter Rules for Dummies Now?

According to the Twitter rules page this is what they have to say:

“We start from a position of assuming that people do not intend to violate our Rules. Unless a violation is so egregious that we must immediately suspend an account. We first try to educate people about our Rules. Then, we give them a chance to correct their behavior.

Then, we show violators the offending Tweet(s), explain which Rule was broken. Finally, we require them to remove the content before they can Tweet again.

If someone repeatedly violates our Twitter Rules, then our enforcement actions become stronger. This includes requiring violators to remove the Tweet(s) and taking additional actions. Actions like verifying account ownership and/or temporarily limiting their ability to Tweet for a set time period.”

If someone continues to violate Rules beyond that point, then their account may be permanently suspended.

If someone continues to violate Rules beyond that point, then their account may be permanently suspended. #Twitterrules Click To Tweet

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Twitter Rules for Dummies on Spamming the Feed

Many users do not understand the spamming term for Twitter. So, exactly what does spam to Twitter mean today?

You may not send automated Tweets or Direct Messages that are spam, or otherwise engage in spamming activity.

Some examples of spammy behavior to avoid with automation include:

  • Trending topics: You may not automatically post about trending topics on Twitter. That includes the use of automation to attempt to influence or manipulate trending topics.
  • Multiple posts/accounts: You may not post duplicative or substantially similar tweets on one account or over multiple accounts you operate.
  • Username Squatting – Please note that if an account has had no updates, no profile image, and there is no intent to mislead, it typically means there’s no name-squatting or impersonation. Note that we will not release squatted usernames except in cases of trademark infringement.

Did you know attempts to sell, buy, or solicit other forms of payment in exchange for usernames are also violations? Hence, they may result in permanent Twitter account suspension.

That’s why I’ve always recommended mixing your tweets up! For example, when I schedule them in with Agorapulse I try to mix up something even if ever so slight. I haven’t had my Twitter account suspended since using this social media management tool.

Many of you may know about those nasty automated DM’s like Mitch Mitchell who wrote about them back in 2016. Of course, I know many of you would love to see them disappear!

twitter rules for dummies on DMs

Automation for Twitter Rules

Bloggers and brands especially love automation for their tweets. As a social media manager I cannot blame them. Social media takes time! So, what are YOU to do?

First, you cannot like tweets in any automated way. I’m glad I don’t even know how to do this one.

Second, bulk or aggressive re-tweeting can be in violation of the Twitter rules for dummies. Twitter states you can ” Retweet or Quote Tweet in an automated manner for entertainment, informational, or novelty purposes.” So if you are being informational, you are okay!

Third, you can not automate follow or unfollowing in bulk, aggressive or in an indiscriminate manner. Hmm, what exactly does indiscriminate manner mean? That appears a little vague to me.

Lastly, do not automate your adding to lists or collections. Another task many may not even know how to do.

I see Jeff Bullas only tweeting his own stuff and over and over. He can do this because he provides informational tweets. And he tweets often! (At least every 15 minutes he has a tweet in his stream.) But, be careful as you only have 2,400 tweets per day set by Twitter rules. If you go over that amount, you may get a suspension.

What About Twitter Follower Counts in the Twitter Rules For Dummies?

  • Following (daily): The technical follow limit is 400 per day. Please note that this is a technical account limit only, and there are additional rules prohibiting aggressive following behavior. But if you have an old verified account that amount is up to 1,000 per day.
  • Following (account-based): Once an account is following 5,000 other accounts, additional follow attempts are limited by account-specific ratios. And, it gets more complicated than that!
  • Every Twitter account can follow up to 5,000 accounts. Once you reach that number, you may need to wait until your account has more followers before you can follow additional accounts.
  • This number is different for each account and is automatically calculated based on your unique ratio of followers to following. Sounds like a magic number, right?

You can read more details on the Twitter following rules here. These Twitter rules for dummies can still be quite complicated!

Twitter Automation Tools

Does this mean you cannot use a few automation tools left to do this? If you use them to a minimum you should be fine. In fact, I’ve been using Tweepsmap for that. They send out emails weekly that shows who unfollows you and you can unfollow them when you log in. There is a FREE version and of course, a paid version of Tweepsmap. Now, please just use it SPARINGLY! (And at your own risk!) 



These Twitter rules for dummies can still be quite complicated! #twitterrules Click To Tweet

What’s The Average Peep on Twitter To Do?

Be yourself. If you want to be informative tweet with link. Or, to be personal you can add a photo.

Then, if  you want to be funny add a video or GIF image.

But, always be polite!

Next, be sure not to auto follow or unfollow others. Lastly, don’t publish other’s private information or try to manipulate others via your tweets. Sounds simple, right?

If you are going to use any tools to automate your Twitter account be sure to use them sparingly. Of course, you can use scheduling tools as long as you mix up your tweets from time to time. If the tweets are informational like Jeff Bullas, you will be okay.

Can You Get An Old Twitter Username?

No, you are not able to. I’d love to have Lisapats but someone registered that years ago and never used it. Twitter does NOT accept requests to obtain old user names for your Twitter handle.

Maybe, you could reserve your kids Twitter handle now? 

The same goes for the old Twitter verification process. Still, it is not active. Twitter has not activated that in almost 3 years now.

Twitter does NOT accept requests to obtain old user names for your Twitter handle. #Twitterfacts Click To Tweet

Over to YOU on the Twitter Rules for Dummies

Do you keep up with the Twitter rules for dummies or do you just tweet away? Are you using any automation tools for your tweets?

For fear that you could be suspended by Twitter, are you doing anything different today than in the past?

Now, I’d love to know more in the comments. Be sure to share this post on your social networks.

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Updated May, 2020.

Lisa loves helping others to thrive online through Social Media, Blogging, and SEO. What good is knowledge if you cannot share it with others? She has 30+ years of experience in marketing/advertising with 10 years of experience in content marketing, social media, blogging, and SEO. Check out her latest eBook "How to Tweet and Thrive on Twitter" now on Amazon.

  • Hello Lisa,

    You have shared masterpiece informative post and folks must need to know these things. You have explained each and everything regarding guidelines of Twitter.

    Twitter’s new policies seem like a decent starting point, many users don’t believe the company will actually enforce the rules it has laid out.

    Eventually, thanks for sharing your informative experience with us.

    With best wishes,

    Amar Kumar

    • Hi Amar, thank you. The Twitter rules are quite a few and gray. Sometimes it can be hard to decipher exactly what they mean so if you are unsure better to err on the side of caution. Do make it a great day Amar 🙂

  • I’m constantly getting the problem of being mistaken for a spam account just because of liking a lot of post, and I’m not sure what the limit or spacing between likes should be…

    It’s getting really frustrating how often my account is suspended for about a month for the same thing.
    And I even don’t like every post I see or do it indiscriminately.
    And it’s not like there’s some warning or disclaimer on how much you should like.

    • Hi Nicole, how many likes do you do in a day? That could be an issue if you are liking too many posts. So you have gotten your Twitter account back? Thanks for coming by on this one and I’d love to know more!

      • Hi Lisa,
        Why is it so difficult for Twitter to just publish a clear cut number-ratio, or range of likes per day that’s considered within the norm; so people can be more cognizant of it, if it’s so important? I mean, if they gave us daily follow/unfollow limits to abide by, why stop there? We could all use a break from the drama, and endless guesswork this is causing.

        Also frustrating: Twitter’s new rule changes in September, that are more vague and open ended; especially with what they consider “Platform Manipulation,” leaving it open to misinterpretation. And at the same time, the number of ominous suspensions of peep’s accounts has suddenly boomed, and no one seems to know why. There are literally mass-disappearances of accounts overnight. People want to know if it could be over the participation in “shout outs,” and “mentions,” or for tagging more than 5 people in a tweet. But none of this is discussed in Twitter’s rules.

        Twitter also doesn’t tell you how many times in a day you can reply to someone saying, “hello,” or “goodnight,” or a similar sentiment; what is the numerical version of “too many,” or what would be considered within the “normal range”? Does using emojis set off Twitter enforcement, is there a limit to their use per day, or per tweet? Twitter obviously has a numerical value in mind when they suspend you for exceeding it, so why not just tell us what it is? Bar graphs are a simple way to communicate this kind of info. Otherwise, it’s kind of like they’re handing out speeding tickets and impounding vehicles, without first posting the speed limit.

        • Hi Tamar,
          I agree with you! Twitter’s rules are very gray and they do not pinpoint exactly what one does wrong to be suspended. You are correct that it is like getting a speeding ticket with no speed limit! Great analogy there 🙂
          My last suspension I suspected it was because I was being tagged by some who tagged too many in each post. I call them like “chain tweets” like old “chain emails” where they send the same thing to everyone.
          I do hope in the coming year and future that Twitter does expound upon their rules so we all know exactly where we stand with them. The only obvious ones are hate speech, discrimination and things of that nature. (Common sense stuff to most.)
          Thanks for coming by on this one and I’m sorry there is no clear cut answers to the question Tamar!

  • Hey lisa,
    Thanks for explaning such a rare article defining rules to be followed on twitter.
    Looks like now i need some guidelines to work upon.

    Great share!!!

    • Hi Rahual, you are most welcome. How long have you been using Twitter? Thanks for coming by and have a great day 🙂

  • Hi Lisa,

    Thanks for putting this together. It explained some things I haven’t really given thought to.
    I prefer to keep it simple when it comes to social media (well, and life in general).

    I post whatever work I’ve done (which usually amounts to one or two posts per day for that) and occasionally engage in some conversation. I don’t understand robotic behavior, but, of course, I see it happens all the time.

    Have a great weekend 🙂
    D –

    • You are most welcome Dana, nice to see you here 🙂 Simple is nice! I do like scheduling and using Triberr. Are you part of Triberr? It’s a simple one to set up. We’ll have to chat! Have a great weekend too – the sun is finally coming out here 🙂

  • Hi Lisa,

    Thanks for this useful list of Twitter rules. I’ve not taken much notice of rules to be honest, although I’ve tried to use common sense.
    I do use a tool for automation of posts, but so far I haven’t had any problems as I’m not a heavy tweeter!

    Joy Healey – Blogging After Dark

    • Hi Joy, you are most welcome 🙂 Common sense will go a long way on Twitter too. How often do you tweet out from your schedule Joy? Thanks for coming by and have a great day.

  • Hi Lisa,

    Thanks for listing all these Twitter rules. Reading through I just can’t believe how people want to spam and automate like crazy. I like the rules Twitter has enforced. It keeps things real and fresh. We are there to connect with others as well as our own benefits. I like playing by the rules and its great to know all of them listed here. I thank you,


    • You are most welcome Donna! Oh yes, people are certainly always trying to “Game” the system. I do use Triberr and Agorapulse to schedule and IFTT to thank new followers. The rest is all live for me right now 🙂 I agree. Hoping your weekend is going well! Thanks for coming by on this one Donna.

  • Thanks for the info, Lisa! This is a bit concerning: “You may not post duplicative or substantially similar tweets on one account” – guilty! I also use to automatically share content from other bloggers. Here’s hoping Twitter doesn’t throw me in jail. 😛

    • Hi Debbie, You are fine with – I see many using that one. I have to look into it, I like how quick it tweets new blog posts out! I also use Agorapulse and even Buffer from time to time. And of course, Triberr. It’s a just the matter of same tweets from 2 accounts. I don’t use my @InspireToThrive as much but am finding ways to make it different from @Lisapatb – tough choices! Thanks for coming by on this and sharing. I hope you have a great weekend Debbie 🙂

  • Informative – Twitter will inform you about actions taken against your account and why.

    This point above is good, as it will help people identify the issue, only if they honor this statement.

    Apart from that, it requires a strong algorithm to honor those 400/day and 1000/day limits. Because some people genuinely get more followers at a higher pace. But for normal accounts, it is fine, because if a normal account is getting more then 400 followers a day is suspicious.

    5,000 accounts limit is also pretty fine.

    • Hi Shaheer, welcome to Inspire To Thrive. Thank you. Yes, you are correct, getting more than 400 followers per day is quite suspicious behavior! Many people who have reached to me claimed they did not get a response from Twitter. Even when mine was suspended for 3 days years ago they didn’t say why. But then emailed me that my account was caught up in their bots. Thank for your input and have a great weekend ahead Shaheer!

      • hahaha, that is why I said only if they honor their statements. 🙂

        But what can they do, lots of spam going on and their bots might still be in the learning phase. 🙂

        • Hi Shaheer, yes, those bots certainly do get in the way on Twitter today. But Twitter seems to be a doing a great job today handling them 🙂

  • Twitter is definitely trying hard to become a good repository of ideas. Often I spend many time on twitter and usually I click a lot.

    So twitter will show me a captcha to confirm that I am not a bot.

    All their rules, restriction and such are for the betterment of the platform. I guess if you are going to lurk down there, you better be aware of this and adapt to this.

    • Hi Rohan, interesting, I have not seen that when I click on Twitter. Were you clicking on links in the tweets or on people’s profiles? Thanks for your input on this one. Love to know where you were clicking. I hope you have a great day!

  • First, thanks for mentioning me!

    Second, I’ve hoped for almost a decade to get mitchmitchell as a Twitter handle. The person who created it has never used it; the weasel! lol

    Third, I love Twitter, but I see people doing stupid things that get them banned almost daily. Twitter’s not all that hard to use, and it’s great for meeting people. True, sometimes Twitter jumps the gun on someone innocent, but there’s so much stupid automation that I’m surprised more people aren’t bumped off.

    • Hi Mitch, you are most welcome. We’ve been tweeting for years there since I’ve started blogging 🙂 Yes, that’s like the one I wanted too 🙁 Yes, they used to jump the gun a lot and now it seems people will try anything for promotion or just plain stupidity! Thanks for coming by on this one Mitch and I hope you enjoy your evening there!

  • Lisa: Thanks for including my tweet with the question regarding Twitter’s follow limit rule and how to find tools for handling your followers and fellow Twitter users.

    We will talk more about Twitter in the near future… 😉

    • Hi Martin, you are most welcome. Have you tried out that tool? I do use it but sparingly here and there. I also love how Agorapulse shows me who follows or not too now 🙂 Thanks for coming by and talk soon more about Twitter!

      • Lisa: I registered for the tool, but I haven’t used it much. I need to unfollow some followers, in order to be able to follow new tweeps.

        We will talk about tools for this matter in the near future! 🙂

  • Hi Lisa, didn’t know you got Penalized a couple of times before. If an expert on Twitter marketing get booked for violating the rules, it means that no one is safe ???. However, you’re right. I tried to get Mossmedia as my username but someone got it already but not seeing him on Twitter.
    It vital to know these point and be ready for what might come next.
    Thank you.

    • Hi Moss, you didn’t remember that? It was a 3 day suspension. Many have over the years. I wish Twitter could do something more for those old usernames. You are welcome and have a great rest of the week Moss 🙂

  • Hi Lisa,
    Great post!
    Twitter doesn’t to ban people, but they will if they have to. It’s their business and we have to follow along. Simple as that.

    But also, these rules are not very string. just be authentic in your communication and you’ll be fine.

    • Hi Nikola, thank you. Yes, they seem to be more. I don’t understand why many people don’t understand the basic rules. I agree – it’s their business and since we don’t pay to be in the space, we must abide by their rules. Being authentic is the ONLY way to go Nikola. I hope you are off to a great start this week 🙂

  • Super breakdown Lisa. I found if you chat with people a bunch and act naturally, Twitter sees you are human, using Twitter for the right reasons, add value, you look good for the brand and yep, you avoid being suspended. Simple if you really have fun on the platform.

    • Hi Ryan, thank you. I just saw you had Britney Spears follow you! Very cool. How do you think that happened? Being a real human is the key to Twitter today, No more of those massive automation tactics that were used years ago to game the system! I’m happy about that 🙂 Thanks for coming by and enjoy the rest of your day or possible nighttime there Ryan. How many hours are you from the East Coast now?

  • Hello Lisa,

    Thanks for writing this awesome post. Twitter is definitely a great Social Media site after Facebook and I am a big fan of it. However, understanding the rules of Twitter is very important as it helps you to make most out of your twitter account. Thanks for sharing this helpful post.


    • Hi Vishwajeet, you are most welcome. Had you hear about the updated rules prior? I hope it makes it simplier for those that have had issues in the past with using the social network and the tools to automate. Thanks for coming by and sharing with your network Vishwajeet. I hope you have a great day 🙂

      • Thanks for this post. I have experience the suspension twice and now I think I know where the problem lies. This post means much

        • Hi Warabayi, welcome to Inspire To Thrive. You are most welcome 🙂 Did you get your account back now or have you started up another one on Twitter? Thanks for taking the time to comment here and have a great day. Happy and safe tweeting!

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