It sounds like you are talking about apps like Twollo Groups (http://groups.twollo.com/ )
I belive they are allowed, when developing Twollo Groups there is a definate use case for following everyone in a group and have them automatically reciprocate - I used to see people say if you sign up with twollo add this hashtag that only we ever use, eventually you will follow us all. The problem with that is that it was not the use case for twollo. If the intention is not for spam, then the mutual follows are all between consenting parties who understand the ramifications of their actions.
I have tried to dicourage spammers from joining twollo groups, after all I am trying to be the legitimate auto-follow service. For instance Twollo has some basic spammer prevention built in, we detect auto dm's and don't allow anyone to follow an auto dm'er (not all auo dmers are spammers though), users have a one click I interface to block and/or unfollow users and the way in which we manage the follows means that you will not want to join a group and then leave - you lose all the followers you gained whilst you still follow everyone.
From my experience with twollo groups spammers and multilevel marketers tend to stay in the same groups leaving the smaller groups to people who actually share a common interest.
I did try to keep twollo groups completly open; you can see any user and the groups they are in and you can see all the groups and their members (http://groups.twollo.com/group/Optimism is an example of a heavy group ). You can clearly see if we think a users sends automated direct messages.
One other thing is that I think Twitter should make a very quick move to oauth only so they can have more control over the app space. I lot of the "we will get you 3000 followers" sites tend to use plan username and password authentication and they are very hard to manage - it would be a lot easier to distribute the follows over an ip range rather than getting everyone to re-register against a new oauth account.
Regards, Paul Twollo.com On 25 Jul 2009, at 05:41, Chaoming Li <chaoming...@gmail.com> wrote:
I see a few apps doing this, some have been there for months. Basically they allow users to login and click a button to follow other users on the list, and then the other users might follows you back. I am wondering is that allowed?