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Twitter finally realizes that financial scams don’t belong on Twitter

Yesterday, if you had wanted to perpetrate some financial scams on Twitter, you seemingly would have been allowed to, at least according to the company’s site policies.

Technically, financial scams were handled through the company’s spam-reporting tool, but they weren’t specifically called out and prohibited. That all changed on Monday, when Twitter updated its policies to explicitly spell out a ban on financial scams:

“We want Twitter to be a place where people can make human connections and find reliable information,” reads the new policy. “For this reason, you may not use Twitter’s services to deceive others into sending you money or personal financial information via scam tactics, phishing, or otherwise fraudulent or deceptive methods.”

We’re always updating our rules based on how online behaviors change. Today we're expanding our policies to prohibit financial scams.

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— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) September 23, 2019

The policy then goes into specifics on what’s not allowed: “You are not allowed to create accounts, post Tweets, or send Direct Messages that solicit engagement in such fraudulent schemes.”

Seems obvious, but also apparently not, so it’s good that it’s all spelled out now.

In case you read all that and still weren’t sure if your particular financial scam is prohibited, Twitter took things a step further to spell out a few examples of fraudulent activity. Specifically:

• Relationship/trust-building scams. You may not deceive others into sending you money or personal financial information by operating a fake account or by posing as a public figure or an organization.

• Money-flipping schemes. You may not engage in “money flipping” schemes (for example, guaranteeing to send someone a large amount of money in return for a smaller initial payment via a wire transfer or prepaid debit card).

• Fraudulent discounts. You may not operate schemes which make discount offers to others wherein fulfillment of the offers is paid for using stolen credit cards and/or stolen financial credentials.

• Phishing scams. You may not pose as or imply affiliation with banks or other financial institutions to acquire others’ personal financial information. Keep in mind that other forms of phishing to obtain such information are also in violation of our platform manipulation and spam policy.

If you come across a violation of the policy you can report it to Twitter by clicking the “Report Tweet” button on the tweet in question and then selecting “It’s suspicious or spam” from the drop-down menu and then selecting the most appropriate option for how that tweet is inappropriate.

Accounts found to be violating the policy can have their accounts locked, URLs blacklisted, tweets deleted, and in “severe” cases have their accounts permanently removed.

Twitter has made several moves to improve the platform lately. The company is testing out a way to let users hide replies to their tweets in the hopes of weeding out abuse.

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Emily Price
Emily is a freelance writer based in San Francisco. Her book "Productivity Hacks: 500+ Easy Ways to Accomplish More at…
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