Currently Twitter has over 200m users, is 10th on the Alexa web rankings scale and 200m tweets are sent per day. All of this adds up to a very active environment, with many positives, but unfortunately, some risks – one of these being SPAM.
There are a number of examples where Twitter has effectively been “hijacked” by machines, for example the recent Russian protests against election results, and the BBC’s Twitter Spam Slip Up. I also know of colleagues who have had to shut down their Twitter accounts because they have been hacked… to be fair, they probably opened a harmful link which took control of their account, resulting in lots of spam being sent out from that account.
So, what is spam?
Well there are a number of definitions, but in most cases it is simply a matter of whether it was welcomed by the user (and whether it could be harmful) – same as email spam…
I tend to define Twitter Spam as:
- Does it contain a link that I don’t know the origin to (and the tweet itself does not clarify the source?) See image above.
- Is it from someone I don’t know?
- Perhaps the photo of the user gives it away (see image below)
- Maybe the sender has zero followers
- They have sent the same link to numerous people
How do I Deal with Twitter Spam?
Well, if you use Twitter as your Twitter app, then you can follow these simple instructions.
If you use Hootsuite (I am a BIG fan of this 3rd party social media client), then you can simply click onto the User who has sent the tweet and Report Spammer (see below). Either way Twitter is notified and will suspend the account.
Now I am sure that the lady above is lovely (!), but I’d rather not risk opening the link she has sent me and destroying any credibility I may have gathered by her robots sending tweets from my account…
So, the moral of the story is, just because Twitter feels like a friendly place, it can be risky, so just like how you should be dealing with emails that look a little dodgy, be careful of spam tweets.
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