Stopping Twitter Spam

Almost any online service can be overrun by spam and Twitter is proving to be a lucrative field for such activities.  Twitter Search that identifies Trending Topics is a major target here and very recent actions force the question: Should Twitter moderate Trending Tropics to prevent spamming? 

This is the specific case that triggered this:

For the second time in a month, offensive terms have made it on to Twitter Trending Topics. In both cases, Twitter didn’t remove the offensive terms until after they spent some time at the top of Trending Topics. This time, the attack appears to have been carried out by the infamous 4chan group.  ReadWriteWeb asks a legitimate question: Maybe Twitter Trends Shouldn’t Be Entirely Automated?

If you wish to do your bit in avoiding spam, then there is good general advice available on Avoiding Twitter Spam.  If you suspect that a particular account is a spammer then you should report them to Spam Watch

Saying no to Spam is even easier if you use the TweetDeck platform and use their spam button.  With just one click, you can delete the message from view, block the user and report them to Twitter.

The tools for Avoiding Twitter Spammers are getting more effective all the time.  Firstly, you can use Topify to give you more information on your followers, that will allow you to more quickly identify potential spammers.  It is in beta at the moment so you will need to wait for an invite.  Once you get the invite, Topify will ask for your e-mail and make sure it is you, then give you a new e-mail via Topify to enter on your Twitter account.

A more precise tool to identify spammers is TwitChuck. You simply fill in the name of the person you are wondering about, and TwitChuck goes through a surprisingly detailed list to arrive at their spam grade.  Here is the information for bwelford:

twitchuck bwelford

Perhaps you should follow the TwitChuck recommendation and follow me.
I assure you TwitChuck has it right: I am not a spammer.

6 thoughts on “Stopping Twitter Spam”

  1. Twitter Spam had become mainstream any black hat newbie is doing it and probably they get almost zero profit as conversion should be awful. I saw this during the years happening many times for other sites. This happens especially when some morons start to build apps for masses turning a marketing technique in a spam tools for noobs .

  2. Have u heard of “trendrr”, I’ve recently read this info abt how to track Twitter Spam

    I dont know how much effective it is ! also Twitter has figured out a way to get rid of Trending Topics spam. Remove it completely from the sidebar. The Search box and saved searches were removed as well. According to the Twitter Status blog, this is a temporary thing. Twitter has a history of pulling features and not bringing them back (remember Track?). Hopefully that won’t be the case with this. Of course, you can still see the Trending Topics on the Twitter Search page.

  3. i didn’t even realise that twitter spam exists. i don’t see how people benefit from spamming something like this but twitter seems a bit adrift at the moment. i read that they have a very high departure rate – people signing up and then ditching it within a month.

  4. I’ll have to find out if I am a spammer or not. I don’t think I would qualify but I do deal with a lot of twitter spam issues.

  5. I’m willing to bet that is just a matter of time until there are a software “Twitter spam filters” where you can whitelist certain words etc… to some extent you can do that with RSS feed filters if you get your Twitter info via RSS.

  6. I believe the best method to avoid twitter spam is to follow selected individuals. I follow around 100 people and there is a reason why I follow them on twitter, either they provide cool information, or are great cartoonists or they are friends I knew earlier.

    People should just be careful about who they are following and the whole twitter spam goes away. Alas! even that seems like a Utopian thought.

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