Fed up with Twitter spam? It's going to get worse

As every Twitter user knows, the popular micro-blogging site has become a hot spot for spammers

As every Twitter user knows, the popular micro-blogging site has become a hot spot for spammers intent on carpet bombing users with the usual pitches for government grants, debt-reduction services, and penile-enhancement pills.

The situation is pretty bad, particularly for naïve users who automatically follow people who follow them. This activity, which many newcomers undoubtedly do just to be polite, opens the door to an onslaught of sales pitches from sleazy marketers.

Here's the bad news: According to a report by Steven Kotler of Fox News, the situation is bound to get worse. Christopher Peri, CEO of Twitfilter, a Web-based app that helps manage income tweets and Twitter followers, says that spammers are getting more sophisticated, and that what we're seeing now is "Twitter spam 2.0."

What exactly does this next-gen Twitter spam look like? Using computers to find keywords and target specific users, spammers are unloading messages into users' timelines. Even worse, these unwanted posts now account for 10 percent of all tweets, Peri claims.

Twitter officials acknowledge they've got a serious spam problem, and they've taken action to fight the plague--albeit with limited success. For months they've been working to reduce the amount of "follow spam," which the official Twitter blog describes as: "...the act of following mass numbers of people, not because you're actually interested in their tweets, but simply to gain attention, get views of your profile (and possibly clicks on URLs therein), or (ideally) to get followed back. Many people who are seeking to get attention in this way have even created programs to do the following on their behalf, which enable them to follow thousands of people at the blink of any eye."

Is It Spam or Not?

The issue of Twitter spam is tricky, particularly since users sign up to receive tweets from marketers. When retailers like Amazon, Dell, and OfficeDepot blast Twitter feeds touting their latest bargains, is that spam? If you've signed up to receive these tweets, probably not. Then again, excessive marketing pitches get annoying fast, and retailers have to be careful not to overdo it.

If you're having problems managing Twitter spam, check out CIO's three simply rules to banish the junk tweets.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags twittersocial networkingspam

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeff Bertolucci

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?