Twitter Spam is a Growing Problem

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By Jimmy Rogers
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

If you are a regular Twitter user, you might have noticed a surprising number of “hot babes” have started following you.  On top of this, your new follower has only have three tweets in her profile and one of them is a link to a rather shady site.  Yes, you sir have been the victim of “follow spam.”

Twitter has been working on a solution to this kind of problem and thus far they have begun two new practices.  First, they are shutting down accounts that are clearly spammy.  Second, they have implemented “follow limits” that restrict the number of people you can follow.  Remember, this does not affect the number of people that can follow you, just the number of people YOU can follow.  The current limit is 2000 accounts.

There has been some controversy over the limits being imposed.  First of all, by banning all of those users, the number of followers I have has been drastically reduced.  Ok, so that isn’t a legitimate greivance, but here are a few real ones:

  1. A number of accounts have reason to follow more than 2000 users: namely bots that serve some purpose and actively monitor all of your tweets.
  2. Some people just want to be able to follow anyone and everyone, especially those who have thousands of followers themselves.

According to Webmonkey’s monkey_bites blog, the limit is a little bit flexible.  Apparently if you already have more than 2000 followers, you are allowed the ability to follow more than the usual number.  This may help out some of the bots (but not all of them) because most of the connections are one-to-one.

[Image from hehe2.net]





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4 Responses to Twitter Spam is a Growing Problem

  1. I'm confused by these though. So they follow you, and…what? If you just don't follow them back, then they…get nothing. What? I don't get it. What's the purpose of doing the following? How are the spammers getting anything out of following lots of people but not being followed?

  2. They follow you…twitter then sends you a message telling you you have a new follower (if you have that option turned on like me) and you go "investigate" that user. It's crafty…

    • I do? Not really. I just look at what nick it tells me, and if it's someone I know from IRC or a forum or something, I go to their page. Otherwise, I delete the email.

      • Well, keep in mind that the "you" I was referring to was the one user in a million that actually clicks through their spam. Clearly YOU "you" aren't going to click through because…well if you post comments on technology blogs you're probably fairly immune to spam.

        Just keep in mind that only one in many thousands actually needs to click through spam for it to be an effective marketing technique…