Why can’t Twitter stop spammers?

Anyone who’s used Twitter will very probably have received spam; you only have to mention some things, like iPads, and you’ll get a load of spam bots sending you messages.

Personally, I’m pretty suspicious of the number of svelte looking women with odd names in my followers list; I doubt they’re all interested in my take on Digital TV, and expect to be spammed by them at any moment.

What surprises me most, though, is that Twitter doesn’t seem to do anything at all to filter out spam – and I think they need to get a grip on that.

Ok, some of the usual techniques might be hard; it’s in the nature of Twitter that people will use shortened links, so you can’t see what they are, and that the same link will be reposted by many people, so that’s not indicative of spam.

But, looking at many of the spam messages I’ve received – where someone has sent them to me as an ‘@’ message, it’s pretty obvious, and I’m amazed that Twitter doesn’t stop this.

These messages all come from people who have recently joined – in the last couple of days – and have zero followers, follow no other people, but yet have sent hundreds of messages a day to other people.

Can anyone honestly tell me there’s a rational way of using Twitter like that? I can’t think of one, or of any good reason why you shouldn’t stop a brand new account with no followers from sending hundreds of @ messages to different people, every day. I can’t even envisage someone brand new to Twitter firing off 400 messages with links a day to people they’re not following, just because they’re new.

Today I’ve had spam from someone who joined two days ago, and has sent 72 messages; another who joined today, and has sent 438, and another who joined today and has sent 445. All with no followers, and not following anyone else.

Sure, a lot of Twitter clients (but not all) have a report spam button, but I’m starting to get a bit tired of doing this for them – and I bet a lot of people just don’t bother, either.

Does Twitter really want to wait until their service becomes swamped before tackling spam?

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