Update – 02/08 – The spam storm seems to have calmed, zero nasty followers overnight. Here’s hoping it stays that way…
I arose this morning (sat 30/07) to 43 emails from Twitter stating that I had new followers. A nice start to the day! Or so I thought. Yes, I like it when someone decides to follow me – it makes me think that they may actually be interested in what I have to say, which is a remarkable thing. I started to skim through the emails and very quickly realised that 39/43 of these new followers were spam. These spammers are clearly the spawn of a ‘bot’. They have silly names, are from the USA and appear to be all female. I spent a little time blocking and reporting as spam, but life is too short and I got a little bored. As I went about my Saturday, my iPhone got stacked up with emails from Twitter, and sure enough they were alerting me to a deluge of similar spammy followers. I got pretty hacked off as I was wasting my time churning through these updates. I decided to mention it on Twitter and many of my contact were having the same experience and were similarly peed off.
This spate of spam is damaging to Twitter, over the course of the last 14 hours, I have had over 250 spammers following me. Twitter has to get a grip of this and fast, a monetised and profitable model will struggle to be created and gain traction while so open to spamming. I am led to believe that Twitter shuts down around 20,000 dodgy accounts per day, which is amiable, however the reaction to attacks like this weekend’s has to be sharper. Google+ has come along and many say it is a direct threat to the continued growth of Twitter, it offers a deeper and perhaps more complex communication platform and many will see that as a more attractive proposition moving forward. Twitter has built its success on simplicity – a network swamped with spam can easy become a headache and headaches get very wearing after a while. Twitter has to fix the major spam issues or die trying.
Is the Twitter spam getting you down? Vent in the comment section below!