Twitter and Spam

by Nick Staroba

Don't get me wrong, I'm not seething with anger at Twitter or its users, but I am losing patience lately. Almost every day there’s another spambot following me. Not only do they spam day and night with mentions, direct messages and follows, but they’re throwing in offensive pictures on top of it.

My own exploration of the micro blogging service is partly to blame. In my naivete of thinking the “higher the number the better,” I went through a phase of mass following. Once that started, it was over—spammers actually seem attracted to me now.

So, what good has it done for me to have 2,000+ followers? Not as much as I thought it would. How could a tweet to a massive amount of MLMbots communicate anything?

What did I get out of following 2,000+ users? I gained some useful connections which are, unfortunately, overshadowed by an overload of spam and irrelevancy.

I’m not discounting the good that I’ve experienced on Twitter, but I’ve spent more time sifting through the spammers instead of communicating with others for the past two months. I’m constantly on a “block” patrol for offensive profile pictures or suspicious links.

Lesson learned. I’ve started a daily culling ritual over the past few weeks and I’ve cut my connection numbers drastically. I’m looking for quality—no more mass following.

One useful tool for this has been TwitBlock. It's a simple app that scans your followers and gives them a sort of "spammer score." I don't base my decision to block someone entirely on their score but the app highlights the most obvious offenders. I'll do the scan and then check out all the profiles that show up to see if I should stay connected to them or, at worst, block them.

It was fun when I jumped on the Twitter bandwagon; I’m anxious to get back to it. And I hope the service can avoid “jumping the shark” by handling the increasing spam.

Is anyone else out there having a similar experience or am I in a minority?

P.S. For those good connections I've made I have to say, "Thanks!" for being cool people and making fun conversation.

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