We have decided to make three changes to our #WorcestershireHour retweet policies. This action has been driven by Twitter, who are themselves implementing new (but secret) rules to filter low quality content.

It is clear that Twitter do not yet have their quality filter algorithms correctly set and ‘innocent accounts’ are seeing their content unfairly hidden from search results. Although Twitter do not openly say what is and isn’t acceptable, we understand that accounts that do very high volumes of tweets (such as @WorcesterHour) will be especially scrutinised and run the risk of sanctions. We therefore need to make these policy changes to protect our important service for Worcestershire.

We are implementing these three changes to our retweet policy. These are in addition to our usual rules. Like all of our #WorcestershireHour rules, they are not onerous and represent ‘good practice’. They will also result in a better user experience and drive more engagement, which is after all, what we want! These changes apply to ALL #WorcestershireHour tweets posted during LIVE hours and at any other time.

  • With immediate effect we will prioritise the retweeting of original tweets that contain #WorcestershireHour. Replies to tweets and retweets with comments (even if they contain #WorcestershireHour) will only be retweeted, if we deem them to have interest and value to the wider audience.
  • From June 1st2019, we will no longer retweet any #WorcestershireHour tweets that have been created on other social media sites, such as LinkedIn, Facebook & Instagram. This is because we cannot review all of the content without visiting the original site to check it. We simply don’t have the time and resources to do this. Content created specifically for Twitter on applications such as Hootsuite & Tweetdeck should be fine (subject to the point below).
  • Research suggests that due to increased risk of virus infection from simply visiting rogue websites, shortened web URLs (that hide the destination) receive far less click throughs, than when the reader can see (and trusts) the actual destination web address. It therefore makes total sense to disable web shortening now that Twitter has 280 characters, and no characters are lost when you attach photographs (only 12% of tweets max out). Therefore, from June 1st2019, we will not retweet messages that contain shortened web links.

The following is advisory only:

We understand that Twitter is also clamping down on accounts that target and include multiple @names in tweets, of people that do not follow them, either in the body of the tweet or tagged to photographs. We recommend you only ever ‘tag in’ a small number of people that you are connected with, that won’t mind you doing it. Tweets containing row after row of @names don’t look or read well. If this tactic is used too often, the impact wears off and especially during busy Twitter hours, it causes notification overload, making the spotting and responding to genuine interest a lot harder to do.

During quieter periods we do send DMs and replies to accounts posting #WorcestershireHour content that falls foul of our rules, with reasons why we didn’t share it? Please be assured our rules are primarily designed to help you, your business, charity or community group to maximise your success on Twitter.  If you have any questions or concerns, please do email me stuart@worcestershirehour.co.uk

Kind regards.

Stuart Allen

Founder of #WorcestershireHour®

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