Twitter today says it’s expanding its policies to prohibit financial scams on its platform — something you’d think would have already been banned, but apparently was never directly addressed through Twitter’s policy documentation. Instead, financial scams until now have been handled through Twitter’s spam reporting tool, which was expanded last year to specifically identify what exact type of spam a tweet contained.
Among the choices were options to indicate if the tweet contained malicious links, was from a fake account or was using hashtags or the reply function to post spam, among other things. It didn’t address the numerous sorts of financial spams that appear on Twitter, however.
The new policy better spells out what Twitter considers a financial scam.
Specifically, it says that using scam tactics to obtain money or private financial information is prohibited under the new policy, and users may not create accounts, tweets or send Direct Messages for this purpose.
We’re always updating our rules based on how online behaviors change. Today we’re expanding our policies to prohibit financial scams.
Read more: https://t.co/ihBxbTGKk5
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) September 23, 2019
It also details what kind of scams it’s on the lookout for, including relationship/trust-building scams, money-flipping schemes, fraudulent discounts and phishing scams. These are detailed in its help documentation here.
The new policy arrives at a time when Twitter has been criticized for allowing crypto scams to proliferate on its service. Many of these involve impersonation, using the reply function to spam and general promises to make victims lots of money. Twitter also this year allowed an obvious PayPal phishing attempt to run as a promoted tweet, which spoke to the need for stronger oversight in this area.
With regard to the new policy, users are still instructed to report the tweet, as before. That means clicking the “report tweet” option from the menu, then selecting “It’s suspicious or spam,” followed by the option that best explains how the tweet is suspicious.
Twitter also clarified that it doesn’t intervene in other financial disputes that fall outside this policy, like claims related to the sale of goods on Twitter, disputed refunds or complaints about poor-quality goods.
As with other scams, financial scammers will risk permanent suspension if they continue to post scams, phishing and fraud, Twitter says.