Twitter announces plans to end ‘copypasta’ Tweets — what does that mean?

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Twitter is cracking down on “copypasta and duplicate” content.

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The social media app announced the new policy to “limit the visibility of duplicative (or also known as ‘copypasta’) Tweets.” Twitter believes this kind of content can manipulate the app’s Trends and Top Search features. Moreover, it can be used not just to spam but to suppress information, amplify harmful messages and misrepresent public discourse.

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What does “copypasta” mean on Twitter?

Twitter defines copypasta as “an Internet slang term that refers to an attempt by multiple individuals to duplicate content from an original source and share it widely across social platforms or forums.”

Copypastas can take the form of text, images or a combination of the two.

How is Twitter cracking down on copypasta Tweets?

Twitter isn’t planning on banning the content so much as limiting its visibility. Some copypasta Tweets may not appear in Top Search or Trends, won’t be recommended on timelines and could be downranked in Tweet replies. However, copypasta Tweets will remain visible to the account’s followers.

Twitter provided two examples of the copypasta Tweets intends to limit:

  • “Identical or near-identical content Tweeted by an individual account or many accounts, even if the users involved only use one account.”

  • “Duplicate or copy-pasted Tweets that may disrupt the experience of others, including mentioning users or using hashtags with the same Tweet content in concert with other accounts.”

The policy won’t affect users who Retweet or who modify copied content with their own commentary, like in the case of memes. Copypasta Tweets should not result in account suspensions but will be subject to review.

However, Twitter did note a few exceptions that could result in temporary or permanent account suspension, including automating duplicative content, operating an account with the sole purpose of promoting duplicative content or repeatedly posting duplicative content.

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