Stemming Annoying Twitter Trends

December 5, 2009 § 2 Comments

Spammers are nothing if not creative. And the ways they invent to invade social media tools like Twitter threaten to ruin the party for those of us who are trying organically to build community there. Over the last few weeks, I have noticed a trend among spammers that I find particularly disconcerting: unsolicited @ replies.

I have received a several of these in the last week. Sure, I can block them, and that will prevent me from seeing their replies in my reply feed. But if this becomes a trend among spammers, I can see blocking becoming unsustainable. I’m afraid I will be forced at some point to protect my tweets, which is something I’d rather not do.

I don’t know what the solution is. I assume that people wouldn’t spam if it didn’t pay off in some way, so it seems that they get enough of a positive response that they keep on doing it. What worries me now is that people might start spamming malware with @ replies. The trend of accounts getting hacked and by proliferating malware through direct tweets is bad enough.

I know that Twitter is trying to proactively deal with spammers, but spammers are elusive and slippery. While I hope that Twitter can lock it down more, I hope that more end users get smart about protecting themselves and their friends. I mean seriously, I never cease to be amazed when I receive a direct tweet with a phishing link to an IQ test from someone who should know better.

There are resources, folks. Educate yourselves and be a good Twittizen.

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