Monday, May 19, 2008


Twitter spam or "Twam"

I was recently running some social media searches on AARP and discovered Twitter spam. I would wager this isn't the first instance, but it is the first case I've encountered that is so blatant.

The twitter spam appears to use similar techniques heavily used in spam blogs (splogs). It seems to operate by creating multiple users created by "mortg" which are succeeded by a randomly generated set of characters. The exact same message is then pushed out through each account. In the case with the AARP, the spammers' (twammers') aims appear to be attempts at drawing in people searching for life insurance or bad credit mortgages.

I have to say, this form of spam makes my life miserable. Realistically, however, I anticipate that this is just the beginning. Today, I stumbled upon another account following a "user" while it was really just a redirect to a spam site. So, we're at the beginning apparently. Hopefully, the block feature will make Twitter spam (do I get to coin the phrase twam?) less annoying than email spam.

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Or how about the term Speeters (Spam Tweeters) or Spitters (Spam Twitters). I like Spitters.

Just like splogs and web searches, I'm not sure if the block feature helps when you are tracking a word or phrase. Something tells me it won't.

For now, only the power users are using the track feature, but as the feature starts to be adopted by the "normal" user then it will become a serious problem that Twitter and company must control.
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