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How to spot Spam on Twitter


How to

Last week we invited everyone to submit articles and ideas for a guest posting on the WebEden blog. To kick it off, we’ve a couple of articles by Alison Cross from AlisonCross4Webs.co.uk on how to spot Spam on Twitter. Over to Alison.

How to spot Spam on Twitter

This is a screen shot from my own new Twitter account.  This area of an account can help you slice your spam.

1    See my ‘friendly web maker’ logo?  Real people load up logos or photos.  Spammers tend to keep the brown double-circle Twitter logo or have a ¾ pose of a really pretty girl. Beware; she may be a spam lure!  Look for additional clues…

2    Look at the yellow bio column, you can see that my followers/following ratio looks reasonable.  Spammers follow thousands of people and have few followers.  The followers they do have are accounts that have an automatic-follow set up, or worse, just other spambots.  Exceptions to this rule are well known names or brands.  Join the hundreds of thousands following Stephen Fry with gay abandon.

3    My postings are a mix of replies, questions and broadcast information. Anyone who just has solely broadcast information MAY just be spam….or a business whom you are following purely for info, not to chat with – eg @bbc @cnn.

Note: Many spammers have no tweets at all.  They are just building up a list to sell off the ‘parked’ twitter account to an advertising company ;-)  Am I sounding cynical?!

4    RT spam (retweeting spam). This is when spammers retweet one of your postings and, because you are flattered that someone thinks you’re so informative or witty that they share your comment with their followers.  You may be tempted to follow them (after all, they have shown some discernment by retweeting YOU!). Don’t be fooled, zip over to their timeline and check the above points – you’ll find that lots of them are spammers.

Finally, don’t block someone just because you can’t see an obvious reason why they would want to follow you. Twitter is about building up links, either for chatting or for business. Not every stranger is a spammer, some of them might turn out to be future customers.  Have fun!

Next week we’ve got the second part of this guest article: How to slice through Spam on Twitter.

About Alison Cross

Alison Cross lives on the Isle of Bute where she has built over a dozen websites using our software. She also helps people use Twitter to market their business. For more info or advice, contact see her website alisoncross4webs.co.uk.